toprankers
  • Exams

  • Online Coaching

  • Test Series

  • Score Up

  • Offer Zone

  • Prep Zone

  • Current Affairs
    Select Date
    Tags:
    Hindi
    Share

    Important Current Affairs of 23th March

    NATIONAL:

    Uttarakhand plans to introduce caravans in major spots to boost tourism.

    • The government of Uttarakhand in a bid to promote tourism will be introducing mobile caravans or motor homes equipped with every facility you can expect to find in a regular house. The portable homes will enable you to access remote locations. The plan also includes the development of parks for the caravans to be stationed.

    • These complexes will provide water, electricity and waste disposal facilities. This way, coupled with the government’s endeavour to build homestays in and around popular tourist spots, soon most Himalaya vistas will be enjoyable from your windowsill. We are working on a plan to introduce fleets of mobile caravans equipped with all facilities available in homes, which will be introduced soon.

    Corporate Affairs Ministry releases national guidelines on responsible business conduct

    • Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs released the National Guidelines on responsible business conduct and revised the National Voluntary Guidelines on social, environmental and economic responsibilities of business, 2011.

    • These guidelines on responsible business conduct aim to urge businesses to actualise the following principles in letter and spirit:

    •  Businesses should conduct and govern themselves with integrity in a manner that is ethical, transparent and accountable.

    • Businesses should provide goods and services in a manner that is sustainable and safe.

    •   Businesses should respect and promote the well-being of all employees, including those in their value chains.

    •  Businesses should respect the interests of and be responsive to all their stakeholders.

    •  Businesses should respect and promote human rights.

    •  Businesses should respect and make efforts to protect and restore the environment.

    CSK to donate IPL opener proceeds to families of Pulwama attack.

    • The cricket extravaganza Indian Premier League begins on Saturday with its 12th edition. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers, Bangalore at Chennai in the opening game.  According to the CSK director, the entire ticket proceeds of this match will be given to the families of CRPF personnel killed in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama. Another IPL team, Kings XI Punjab, recently donated five lakh rupees each to families of five CRPF soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack.

    India Post released stamp cover on Ice Stupa in Leh.

    • India Post released a special stamp cover on Ice Stupa in Leh at an event in the presence of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives Ladakh founder Sonam Wangchuk who spearheaded the Ice Stupa initiative.  Ice Stupas refer to artificial glaciers. The water from these artificial glaciers melt in the springtime, just when the fields need Leh lies in the cold desert region and most villages in the region face acute water shortage in the streams whereas in June there is an excess of water and even flash flooding due to the fast melting of the snow and glaciers in the mountains. By September all farming activities end and yet a smaller stream flow throughout the winter steadily but wastefully going into the Indus river without being of use to anybody.

    • Ice Stupas are aimed at reducing water crisis in the region and also to convey a message to the world that how the Mountain people are forced to do such innovative ideas to solve the water crises, Ice Stupas also sends a message to all the people who live in big cities to not use resources in such a way that it creates problem for mountain people.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    New Zealand Bans Assault Weapons.

    • New Zealand imposed an immediate ban on assault weapons following the Christchurch massacre that claimed the lives of 50 mosque-goers. Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern announced assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons would be banned with immediate effect, making a pledge to ensure that nothing like Christchurch massacre ever occurs in the Pacific nation again. About New Zealand Capital: Wellington Currency: New Zealand dollar.

    SPORTS:

    BWF badminton rankings 2019: Lakshya, Riya break into top 100.

    • Young Indian shuttlers Lakshya Sen and Riya Mookerjee broke into the top-100 among Men’s and Women’s singles players in the latest World Badminton Rankings. Making a massive jump of 28 places, Lakshya Sen is placed 76th. Riya Mookerjee climbed up 19 spots to be placed 94th. In the women's singles rankings, P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are static with Sindhu at sixth and Saina at ninth position.

    • Japan's Kento Momota is leading the men's chart while Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying is topping the women's singles list. Among men, B Sai Praneeth also moved up three places to 19th. Kidambi Srikanth remains static and is the best placed Indian in the men's rankings at seventh. He is followed by Sameer Verma (14th), H S Prannoy (24th), Subhankar Dey (43rd), Parupalli Kashyap (48th), Ajay Jayram (52nd) and Sourav Verma (53rd).

    India to face Nepal for title clash at SAFF Women's Championship.

    • In football, India clinched the SAFF Women's Championship for the fifth time in a row, defeating hosts Nepal 3-1 in the final at Biratnagar. In the first half, Dalmia Chhibber of India scored the first goal of the match which was equalled by Nepal's Sabitra Bhandari at the 33rd minute. In the second half, Grace Dengmei scored the second goal at 63rd minute and Anju Tamang scored third and decisive goal in the 76th minute.

    BANKS AND ECONOMY:

    Fitch Cuts India GDP Growth Forecast For FY20 To 6.8%.

    • Fitch Ratings cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8% from its previous estimate of 7%, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy. The rating agency also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7% from 7.3% and 7.1% from 7.3%, respectively.

    Defence Ministry clears proposal to buy 10 lakh 'Made in India' hand grenades for Army.

    • The Rs 500 crore proposal comes shortly after the Defence Ministry cleared the acquisition of assault rifles and signed a joint venture with Russia to manufacture AK-203 rifles for the infantry units of the Indian Army. The new hand grenades will replace the existing inventory, HE-36 grenades manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board.

    • The multi-mode grenades have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Recently, the government also signed a contract worth Rs 700 crore for procurement of 70,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles with a US manufacturer.

    RBI denies IDBI Banks proposal to name change.

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has turned down IDBI Bank’s proposal to change its name following the transfer of a controlling 51% stake to LIC, insurance behemoth, from the government of India.  The board of IDBI Bank had, last month, sought the RBI’s approval for a change in the name of the lender to either LIC IDBI Bank or LIC Bank following the takeover by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). However, RBI did not elaborate on the reasons for denial by the regulator for changing the name.

    PFC to buy 52.63 percent govt shares in REC for Rs 14,500 crore by March-end.

    • State-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC) will acquire the entire 52.63 per cent shares of the government in REC for Rs 14,500 crore by the month-end, a move that will help the centre to meet its disinvestment target.

    • REC Limited is a public Infrastructure Finance Company in India’s power sector. The company is a Public Sector Undertaking and finances and promotes rural electrification projects across India. The government proposes to raise Rs 80,000 crore from disinvestment during the fiscal ending March 19 and has so far raised Rs 56,473.32 crore. With completion of PFC-REC deal, the amount will increase to over Rs 70,000 crore.

    AWARDS:

    Brazilian astronomer Marcelo Gleiser wins 2019 Templeton Prize.

    • Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser (60) was awarded 2019 Templeton Prize worth $1.4 million for his work on blending science and spirituality. It makes him first Latin American to win this award. Templeton Prize is awarded annually on person for outstanding his/her contributions in affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Mother Teresa was the first winner in 1973. Some of its other recipients include Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1975), Dalai Lama (2012) etc. In 2018, it was awarded to King Abdullah II of Jordan.

    OBITUARIES:

    India-Pakistan war hero, Captain M.N. Samant died aged 89 years.

    • Captain Mohan Narayan Rao Samant of the Indian Navy, a 1971 India-Pakistan war hero, who was honoured by Bangladesh as a ‘Friend of Liberation War’, has passed away at the age of 89. The Maha Vir Chakra awardee was instrumental in India waging a covert maritime war against shipping in the then East Pakistan. He had trained over 400 Bengali college students as maritime commandos for carrying out mass raids and inflicting damages to Pakistani shipping vessels in the run up to the 1971 war.

    Read More
    Read Less
    Share

    Important Current Affairs of 18th March

    NATIONAL:

    New hydro policy will help to meet renewables target.

    • The Union Cabinet approval to the new hydroelectricity policy that, among other things, included large hydro projects within the ambit of renewable energy. Prior to the policy, only small hydro projects of a capacity of less than 25 MW were treated as renewable energy. Large hydro projects were treated as a separate source of energy.

    •  India’s renewable energy sector had an installed capacity of 75,055.92 MW as of February 2019, according to data with the Central Electricity Authority. This made up about 21.4% of the overall energy mix, with the rest coming from thermal, nuclear and large hydro sources.  With the inclusion of large hydro in renewable energy, the energy mix changes drastically. Renewable energy capacity would now be 1,20,455.14 MW or 34.4% of the overall energy mix.

    NGT directed 6 states to submit action plans for bringing air quality standards.

    • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed six States to submit by April 30 action plans for bringing air quality standards within the prescribed norms, failing which they would be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs.1 crore each.  A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ordered the Chief Secretaries of Assam, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Nagaland governments to submit their plan within the stipulated time

    Second Scorpene submarine Khanderi ready for induction.

    • The Navy is set to induct the second Scorpene submarine Khanderi by early May. The remaining submarines in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials. Khanderi was launched into the water in January 2017 and has since been undergoing a series of trials.

    • Also, the fourth submarine Vela is ready to be launched into the water for trials around the same time depending on the ocean tide.  Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, is manufacturing six Scorpene submarines under technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a 2005 contract worth $3.75 bn.

    • After a series of delays in the project, the first submarine of the class Kalvari joined service in December 2017. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.

    India and Maldives agreed to cooperate on defence, development, health.

    • India and the Maldives discussed measures to strengthen ties and agreed to collaborate in the fields of defence, development cooperation, capacity building and health as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with the country’s top leadership, including her Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid.

    • Ms. Swaraj and Maldivian Foreign Minister Shahid reviewed progress on important bilateral issues, including implementation of agreed outcomes of President Solih’s visit to India during 2018. She unveiled a plaque dedicating the renovated IGM Hospital to the people of Maldives in the city of Male. IGMH is the first and largest government health-care facility in the Maldives, built with Indian assistance.

    Nara Lokesh, Poonam Mahajan among Indians in Young Global Leaders list.

    • Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokesh, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan and Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain are among the Indians featuring in the list of Young Global Leaders, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Telangana government's Chief Innovation Officer Phanindra Sama, SaveLife Foundation's Piyush Tewari and Kaleidofin's co-Founder Sucharita Mukherjee are also in the list. The list has 127 of the world's "most promising social activists, business leaders, public servants, artists and technologists under the age of 40".

    Climate Vulnerability Index Highest For Assam And Mizoram.

    • Indian scientists have developed a common framework for the assessment of climate change vulnerability in all the states in the Himalayan region. The assessment shows that the vulnerability index is the highest for Assam (0.72) and Mizoram (0.71). Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with the index being 0.42. Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS AND LAUNCHES:

    Aviva Life Insurance launches Special Mentorship Programme Wings.

    • Aviva Life Insurance announced the launch of ‘Wings’, a specially designed mentorship program to empower the female workforce. Wings program is an initiative of the SHE division of Aviva Life Insurance for mentoring all the women employees in Aviva.

    BCCI announced Dream11 as official partner of VIVO IPL.

    • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), announced Dream11, India’s Biggest Sports Game, as the Official Partner for the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL). This 4-year exclusive partnership will begin with the upcoming IPL 2019 season. Additionally, the ‘Official Fantasy Game’ of IPL will also be powered by Dream11.

    APPOINTMENTS:

    Santosh Jha appointed as The Next Ambassador Of India to the Republic Of Uzbekistan.

    • Santosh Jha presently Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Presently, Mr Jha working as Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington DC USA.

    Kotak Mahindra Bank has appointed KVS Manian, Gaurang Shah as board directors.

    • KVS Manian and Gaurang Shah appointed as Kotak Mahindra Bank ’s whole-time directors for a three-year term effective from the date of approval from the Reserve Bank of India. He is currently working as the president – corporate, an investment bank and Gaurang Shah is the president- group chief risk officer of the bank

    Pinaki Chandra Ghose named as Indias first Lokpal.

    • Pinaki Chandra Ghose is likely to be India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman or Lokpal. He is the former Supreme Court judge and current member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The decision was made by the PM-led high-level selection committee.  Mr.Ghose was appointed as judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997 and went on to become Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013. The Lokpal Act, which was passed in 2013 after a nationwide anti-corruption movement.

    • The act provides for setting up of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the States to probe corruption complaints against top functionaries and public servants. A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman who represents the public interest. The Lokpal has jurisdiction over all Members of Parliament, central government employees, including the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers in cases of corruption.

    SPORTS:

    Diksha, 18-yr-old becomes 2nd Indian golfer to win on Ladies European Tour.

    • Diksha Dagar became the second Indian woman golfer to win an event on Ladies European Tour after clinching South African Women's Open in Cape Town. Aditi Ashok was the first Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour after clinching Hero Women's Indian Open in Gurugram in 2016.

    OCA reinstated Chess in Asian Games 2022.

    • Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) decided to reinstate the Chess game to the Asian Games fold for the 2022 edition in Hangzhou. The top players welcomed the return of Chess.

    • The OCA General Assembly met in Bangkok on March 3 and its president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al-Sabah officially confirmed the development to World Chess Federation (WCF) president Arkady Dvorkovich.

    • Chess was a part of the Asian Games programme at the 2006 edition in Doha and 2010 in Guangzhou. India won two gold medals at Doha, and two bronze in the 2010 edition at Guangzhou.

    T. Irfan became first Indian athlete to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.

    • A 29-year-old Indian athlete from Kerala, K.T. Irfan qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as he finished fourth in the men’s 20 kilometre category at the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan. He got qualified for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

    • He made the cut after finishing fourth at the Asian Race Walking Championship at Nomi in Japan.  The fourth-place finishes also ensured a berth in the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Doha that begins in September. The Two other Indian race walkers, who qualified for the World Championship are Devinder and Ganapati.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    RBI allows HDFC Bank to hold only 9.9 percent in Bandhan Bank.

    • HDFC, India’s largest mortgage lender, which has agreed to merge its low-cost arm Gruh Finance Pvt. Ltd. with Bandhan Bank, can hold 9.9 percent in the bank, according to its exchange filing. That’s the maximum a non-banking finance company can own in a private bank. HDFC had sought approval for 14.96 percent.

    AWARDS:

    Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan received Padma Bhushan from President.

    • President Kovind presented Padma Bhushan to Shri Sankaralingam Nambi Narayanan for Science & Engineering. Shri Narayanan is an accomplished scientist with more than three decades of experience in Indian Space Research Organisation. The scientist was instrumental in developing the Vikas engine that would be used for the first PSLV that India launched.

    • But, Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely implicated in the ISRO spy case, was accused of selling state secrets comprising confidential test data from rocket and satellite launches. In 1994, Narayanan was arrested by Kerala police over espionage charges, which were dismissed by CBI in 1996. The Supreme Court declared him not guilty in 1998 and ordered Kerala to pay ₹50-lakh compensation over "mental torture" in 2018

    Read More
    Read Less
    Share

    Important Current Affairs of 15th March

    NATIONAL:

    Brookfield acquires RILs East West Pipeline

    • India Infrastructure Trust, an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), sponsored by Brookfield, will acquire the East West Pipeline for Rs. 3,000 crore.

    • The pipeline is owned by Reliance Industries Ltd’s promoters’ family.  As a part of the transaction, the InvIT would acquire 100% equity interest in Pipeline Infrastructure Private Ltd. which currently owns and operates the pipeline.

    • Following this acquisition by Brookfield, the existing pipeline usage agreement has been reworked.  Now, reserved capacity will be cut to 33 Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter Per Day (MMSCMD) against 56 MMSCMD and any unutilised capacity payment by RIL will be the difference between Rs.500 crore a quarter and actual revenue earned by PIPL.

    DRDO successfully test fired Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile

    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the desert ranges of Rajasthan.

    • The MPATGM is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) comes loaded with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. It has a maximum engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers. The indigenously developed missile has features like a state-of-the-art imaging infrared radar seeker with integrated avionics.

    Arecanut Gets Its First GI Tag For Sirsi Supari

    • Registrar of Geographical Indications, Government of India, accorded a GI tag, ‘Sirsi Supari’, to arecanut grown in Sirsi, Siddpaur and Yellapur taluks of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. The Totagars’ Cooperative Sale Society (TSS) Ltd, a Sirsi-based agri cooperative, is the registered proprietor of the GI ‘Sirsi Supari’.

    NTPC partners with Indian Railways for fly ash transportation

    • State-run National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) has teamed up with the Indian Railways for fly ash transportation. The partnership is to help enhance ash utilisation at Rihand and Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power plants.  NTPC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hazipur-based East Central Railway Zone for transportation of fly ash under Indian Railways’ Special Freight Train Operator scheme.

    IFFM to be from 29th March at Malappuram, Kerala

    • The 77th International Film Festival of Malappuram (IFFM) organised by the Rasmi Film Society will be held at Malappuram, Kerala on March 29, 30 and 31. Actor Indrans will inaugurate the festival at the Municipal bus-stand auditorium, named after filmmaker Mrinal. Sen.V.C. Abhilash’s Aalorukkam will be the inaugural film. There will be 11 films in the World, Indian and Malayalam categories.

    RInfra to sell Delhi-Agra Toll Road in Rs 3,600 crore deal

    • Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has signed a "definitive binding agreement" with Singapore-based Cube Highways and Infrastructure for sale of its 100 per cent stake in Delhi-Agra (DA) Toll Road Pvt Ltd. The deal is valued over Rs 3,600 crore.

    • In addition, NHAI claims of Rs 1,200 crore to be filed by DA Toll Road will flow directly to Reliance Infrastructure. DA Toll Road Pvt Ltd is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) of RInfra, which operates the 180 kilometre long six-lane road that connects the national capital with Agra on National Highway-2.

    ECI to launch Observer App

    • The Election Commission of India (ECI) is to launch the Observer App, a mobile application, that will help poll observers to submit reports.

    •  The poll observers will get all the important notifications and alerts through the ‘Observer App’. It will also help them get their deployment status and download the ID card. As the observers will be involved in real-time disposal of cases of violation of the Model Code of Conduct and expenditure received through another mobile application ‘cVIGIL’, those details will also be available on the ‘Observer App’.

    BANK AND ECONOMICS:

    Russia releases coin commemorating annexation of Crimea.

    • A new coin that features the Crimea or Kerch Strait Bridge released by Russia’s central bank, to mark Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Two million new five ruble (about $0.08, €0.07) coins were pressed which depict an outline of the peninsula which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

    RBI categorises IDBI Bank as private sector lender

    • IDBI Bank has been categorised as a private sector bank for regulatory purposes with effect from January 21, 2019.

    • This follows  Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) acquiring 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital of the bank. In April 2005, IDBI Bank was categorised under a new sub-group, ‘other public sector banks,’ by the RBI.

    • The Bank has a high proportion of bad loans. In another release, the RBI announced that the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will continue to be identified as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). D-SIB means that a bank is 'too big to fail'.

    DAY:

    World Consumer Rights Day is observed on 15th March

    • The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year, as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. The theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2019 is ‘Trusted Smart Products’.

    • The day demands that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights. World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so.

    • This World Consumers Rights Day highlights what consumers want and need from a connected world. This year over 100 members in over 90 countries are coming together to mark World Consumer Rights Day.

    AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS:

    M.R.Kumar takes charge as Chairman of LIC

    • M.R.Kumar, the newly-appointed chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), has taken charge on 14th March. Mr.Kumar took over from Hemant Bhargava who had been the acting chairman since January 2019. Mr.Kumar had joined LIC as a direct recruit officer in 1983.  The government had also named two MDs for LIC, Vipin Anand and T.C. Suseel Kumar.

    Sweden's 16-year-old Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

    • Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish student and activist has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in climate activism and fighting global warming. She began her weekly protest in August 2018 by riding her bicycle to the Swedish Parliament with ''School strike for climate'' sign.

    • The #FridaysForFuture movement went viral and spread over 80 countries. If she were to win, she would be the youngest recipient since Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

    Padmanaban Gopalan bagged the Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region

    • Social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu, Padmanaban Gopalan, founder of No Food Waste named the winner of the Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region worth 3,000 Pounds at a ceremony at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. He was given the honour for his work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Zero Hunger with his innovative system of recovering excess food to distribute to those in need. 

    Army Chief Bipin Rawat conferred PVSM by President Kovind

    • Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was conferred with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), the highest military medal award in recognition of peace-time service not accounting to gallantry, by President Ram Nath Kovind. President also awarded three Kirti Chakras and 15 Shaurya Chakras to armed forces personnel for displaying gallantry.

    • Two Kirti Chakras were posthumously awarded to Sepoy Vramha Pal Singh of the Rajput Regiment and Rajendra Kumar Nain, a constable with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). A Shaurya Chakra was also posthumously awarded to Ravindra Dhanawade by the President, who is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces.

    Three Kirti Chakras and 15 Shaurya Chakras awarded by the President to Army Personnel

    • President Ram Nath Kovind conferred 3 Kirti Chakras and 15 Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at the Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.  2 Kirti Chakras and 1 Shaurya Chakra were given posthumously. 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 1 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal and 25 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals were also conferred on senior officers of the Armed Forces for their distinguished service by the President.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Special olympics World Game began in UAE

    • Special Olympics World Games 2019 is held at Abu Dhabi, from March 14 to 21. The Games were declared open by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. There are 7,500 athletes from 190 countries taking part at the Games this year. Team India is the second largest contingent after the host UAE with 387 players, along with coaches and other staff. The Special Olympics takes place every two years and alternates between summer and winter.

    UK removes cap on PhD level work visas

    • U.K. announced in a Budget update, referred to as the annual Spring Statement, that from later this year all PhD-level highly-qualified roles will be exempt from any cap on the numbers that can apply and come to work in Britain.

    • Indians are among the largest group of professionals set to benefit from a new U.K. government plan to remove any limit on the number of PhD-level work visas to be granted.  A key pillar of the plan is backing Britain to remain at the forefront of the technology revolution that is transforming the economy. In Order to support that ambition, the country completely exempt PhD-level roles from the visa caps.

    Vienna topped the Most Liveable Cities index for the 10th year

    • The Austrian capital Vienna has topped Mercer's index of most liveable cities for the 10th year in a row. Zurich in Switzerland, is placed second in the index, while Auckland, Munich and Vancouver came joint third. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is ranked at 105 in Mercer's Quality Of Living Index and is the number one city from India.

    • Luxembourg was named the safest city in a separate personal safety league table. Global consulting firm Mercer surveyed in 231 cities across the globe and were ranked them based on factors such as healthcare, education, public services, recreation, crime, housing and personal freedom. The ranking was based on data analysed between September and November 2018.

    Read More
    Read Less
    Share

    Important Current Affairs of 13th March

    NATIONAL:

    India-Bangladesh Jointly Inaugurated 4 Development Projects

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, jointly unveiled e-plaques for development projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing.

    • This was the sixth such video conference between PM Modi and Prime Minister Hasina.

    E-plaques were unveiled for the following 4 development projects:

    ♦ Supply of buses and trucks,

    ♦ Inauguration of 36 community clinics,

    ♦ Inauguration of 11 water treatment plants, and

     ♦ Extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh.

    Facebook launched Facebook Hubs to aid start-ups.

    • Facebook launched ‘Facebook Hubs’ at 20 locations in India to support the start-up ecosystem in the country.

    • These hubs will help foster innovation and support for the community by hosting mentor hours and trainings, workshops, roundtable discussions.

    • The company has partnered with co-working company 91springboard. These hubs will be part of a global network for training and mentoring facilities for start-ups, among others.

    Six lakh employees to be trained to handle 96000 VVPAT Machines in Maharashtra.

    • For the first time in Lok Sabha elections, VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audi Trail) machines are to be used all over the country. In Maharashtra, 96000 VVPAT machines will be used in 48 Lok Sabha constituencies and process for training 6 lakh employees to handle these machines has begun. They will be provided with training at three levels.

    • VVPAT system is complimentary for electronic voting machines (EVMs) and receipt of voting will be given to the voters through these machines. Information regarding vote cast to a particular candidate by the voter can be available after pressing a button on VVPAT machine. A receipt will be given in seven seconds after voting to the voter.

    ECI to launch cVIGIL on 18th March.

    • Election Commission of India has developed cVIGIL, a mobile app, for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. ‘cVIGIL’ stands for 'Vigilant Citizen’.

    •  It is expected to be launched on 18th March 2019. It will be available on Google Playstore. Complaints regarding the model code of conduct and violations can be lodged in during election time.

    • To lodge a complaint, a voter should download the app from Google Play Store. Photos and two-minute video clippings regarding the violation including threatening of voters, causing enmity between voters on caste and religious lines, character assassination of candidates, can be uploaded via the app. Complainants also have the option to remain anonymous. Within 100 minutes of filing the complaint, the complainant will receive feedback on the action taken.

    Vastradan Campaign has set the Guinness World Record.

    • Vastradan Campaign initiated by the erstwhile royal family of Udaipur has set the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of clothes for donation.

    • Through the Vastradan Campaign, over 3,29,250 pieces of clothing from over 76,000 donors were collected and distributed to the needy. The campaign reached out to over 120 schools, 15 colleges and around 30 NGOs.

    • The certificate for the Guinness World Record was handed over to Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, a descendant of Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. The campaign highlighted the empathy of the citizen's especially young boys and girls.

    WHO released the Global Influenza Strategy 2019-2030.

    • World Health Organization (WHO) released a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030 aimed at protecting people in all countries from the threat of influenza, one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. The aim of the strategy is to prevent seasonal influenza, control the spread of influenza from animals to humans, and prepare for the next influenza pandemic.

    • Every year across the globe, there are an estimated 1 billion cases, of which 3 to 5 million are severe cases, resulting in 290000 to 650000 influenza-related respiratory deaths. WHO recommends annual influenza vaccination as the most effective way to prevent influenza, which is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications and for health care workers.

    • The new strategy is the most comprehensive and far-reaching that WHO has ever developed for influenza and it outlines a path to protect populations every year and helps prepare for a pandemic through strengthening routine programmes. For more than 65 years, the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), comprised of WHO Collaborating Centres and national influenza centres, have worked together to monitor seasonal trends and potentially pandemic viruses and this system serves as the backbone of the global alert system for influenza. 

    DRDO developed a range of Casualty Combat drugs.

    • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a range of combat drugs that can extend the golden hour till the soldier or an armoured unit is shifted to hospital after an attack. This range of drugs can bring down the death toll.

    • The spectrum includes bleeding wound sealants, super absorptive dressings, and glycerinated salines. It can save lives in the event of warfare in the jungle and high altitude areas as well as in terror attacks.

    • These medicines ensure that soldiers do not suffer from unwanted blood loss while being taken to better healthcare from war zones. This range of casualty drugs is aimed at enhancing the chances of survival and minimum disability by providing effective first aid care within the golden hour.

    Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):

    ♦ Formed on: 1958

    ♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

    ♦ Minister responsible: Nirmala Sitharaman

    ♦ Parent: Ministry of Defence

    ♦ It is charged with the military's research and development

    Indias first LGBTQ Clinic and HIV treatment centre inaugurated by Humsafar Trust in Mumbai.

    • The first HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) treatment centre and holistic clinic for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) by Humsafar trust in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

    • The founder of Humsafar Trust, Ashok Row Kavi announced that the center will be open for all and it will give provide counselling.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    RBI to become World's 10th largest holder of gold.

    • According to data provided by the World Gold Council (WGC), India has the 11th largest gold reserve and the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes. The Netherlands holds the 10th position with 612.5 tonnes, or just about 5.5 tonnes ahead of RBI.

    • The top spot is occupied by US gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3,369.7 tonnes. International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranks third on the list with total gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes.

    Bank of Baroda becomes one of the first PSBs to launch creche/day-care facility for employees children.

    • Bank of Baroda become one of the first public sector banks to launch a crèche/child day-care facility for children of its employees.

    • The day-care facility has been launched at its Mumbai corporate office in Bandra Kurla Complex and is being mulled further on being implemented at the head office in Vadodara, Gujarat.

    • The bank will bear 60% of the cost incurred every month and rest 40% will be borne by the parents.

    SEBI withdrew 20 percent on investments by FPI in corporate bonds.

    • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the markets regulator, withdrew the 20% limit on investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds of an entity. SEBI withdrew the restriction in accordance with a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

    • In 2018 June, the Securities and Exchange Board of India had mandated that no FPI shall have an exposure of more than 20% of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate. However, in February RBI lifted the restriction in view of market feedback. To give effect to the directions of the RBI, SEBI said provisions of its June 2018 circulars with respect to exposure of more than 20% stands withdrawn with immediate effect.

    • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):

    ♦ Formed: April 12, 1988

     ♦ Acquired Statutory Status on: January 30, 1992

    ♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

    ♦ Chairman: Ajay Tyagi

    ♦ SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India

    PNB Sanctions Loans worth Rs 689 cr to 1,600 MSMEs Via Online Portal.

    • State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) sanctioned loans worth Rs 689 crore to over 1,600 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through the PSB loaning 59minutes.com portal as part of its effort to promote such industries. Under the Mudra Yojana, the bank has offered loan to over 2.69 lakh small entrepreneurs this fiscal  About Bank of Baroda Founder: Dyal Singh Majithia, Lala Lajpat Rai Headquarters: New Delhi

    BoI raised Rs.660 crore by selling shares to employees

    • State-owned Bank of India (BoI) raised Rs.660.80 crore by issuing shares to employees under Employee Share Purchase Scheme (ESPS).

    • The bank issued 6,25,52,188 shares of Rs.10 each to eligible employees. The Bank offered a discount of 24.28% on the applicable price to the employees and about 94.70% of total employees participated.

    AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS:

    Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan received Yaswantrao Chavan National Award

    • Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, for his contribution towards economic development, was awarded the ‘Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018‘ on March 12, 2019, which was the 106th birth anniversary of late Yashwantrao Chavan, the first chief minister of Maharashtra. About Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor – Shaktikanta Das Headquarters – Mumbai.

    Axis Bank names Rakesh Makhija as new Chairman.

    • Axis Bank has appointed Rakesh Makhija as Non-Executive Chairman for a period of 3 years. He will take over from Sanjiv Misra when his term ends on July 17.

    • Makhija is also the Chairman of the bank's Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

    SPORTS:

    India retain 2nd spot in ICC T20I rankings, Rahul moves up to 5th.

    • The Indian cricket team retained its second spot in the T20I team rankings with 122 points, despite the recent series loss against Australia at home. Pakistan tops ICC T20I rankings with 135 points, with England remaining at third place with 121 points. In the T20I batsmen rankings, Indian batsman KL Rahul moved up to the fifth spot. In the T20I bowlers' list, Kuldeep Yadav, who was rested for two T20Is against Australia, dropped a place to the fifth rank. Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan remained in top positions in batsmen and bowlers’ list respectively. About ICC: ICC - International Cricket Council It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It was renamed as the International Cricket Council in 1989. Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates Current champion: India national cricket team Chairperson: Shashank Manohar

    Dipa Karmakar selected as Barbie Role Model.

    • Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar was selected as Barbie role model & was presented with a one-of-a-kind doll by Barbie as the company celebrates its 60th anniversary. She was part of the ‘Shero’ program launched in 2015 by the company. Karmakar has won over 77 medals, including 67 gold ones at state, national and international levels.

    • She also became India’s first gymnast to win a gold medal at an international event – the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey. Mattel, the toy manufacturing company behind Barbie, on their 60th anniversary of Barbie, released a new range of barbies to honor female role models globally, spanning different career fields. Japan’s tennis star Naomi Osaka, Brazilian surfer Maya Gabiera and Canadian ice skater Tessa Virtue are other women athletes who have been honoured.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Google celebrated 30 years of World Wide Web with doodle.

    • Google on March 12 celebrated 30 years of the World Wide Web (WWW) with a doodle. On March 12, 1989, British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee while working at European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, CERN, submitted a proposal for an information sharing system that would become the WWW. On April 30, 1993, CERN put WWW software in the public domain. Its popularity started spreading from November with the launch of Mosaic, the first search engine to accept pictures. That revolutionised the web, making it user friendly. Mosaic was later replaced by the likes of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

    UK Parliament rejects Prime Minister's Brexit deal for a second time.

    • UK Members of Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, which sets out the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union (EU), for the second time. MPs voted by 391 to 242 to reject the deal. The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29. Brexit is an abbreviation for "British" and "exit" referring to the UK's decision in a June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the European Union (EU). The UK joined the European Communities (EC) in 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath.

    Read More
    Read Less
    Share

    Important Current Affairs 6th March 2019

    NATIONAL:

    TVS Motor Company won the Green Era Award for Sustainability

    • TVS Motor Company won the International Sustainability award Green Era Award for Sustainability in Lisbon, Portugal. Tata Motors also won the Quality and Business Excellence Award in acknowledgment of its endeavor to create new benchmarks in product quality.

    Rajnath to inaugurate an electronic surveillance project in Assam

    • Home Minister Rajnath Singh is to inaugurate an electronic surveillance project in Dhubri district of Assam, a riverine and highly porous stretch along the Bangladesh border.

    • The Home Ministry announced that the smart fencing will be operationalized in the 61 km riverine section of the international border in Dhubri district of Assam, where the Brahmaputra river enters into Bangladesh, in a bid to check illegal immigration and smuggling of arms, ammunition, drugs, and cattle.

    Mukesh Ambani secured 13th place in the Forbes list of the ultra-wealthy

    •  In the release of the latest Forbes list of the ultra-wealthy, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, secured 13th place.

    • Jeff Bezos remains the world’s richest person with a wealth of $131 billion. Secondly, Bill Gates ranks second with wealth worth $96.5 billion and Warren Buffett in 3rd position.

    Geological Survey of India sets up 22 GPS stations across country

    • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) launched 22 permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities.

    • The 22 GPS-Geodetic (pertaining to Geodesy, the science of earth measurement) observatories are located in Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Jabalpur, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar Vishakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Mangan, Jammu, Lucknow, Nagpur, Shillong and Little Andaman.

    • Another 13 GPS permanent stations will be operational by March 2020.

    • The organization has launched a platform called "Bhuvisamvad" under the Ministry of Mines to facilitate interaction between geo-scientists and university and college students.

    Azaadi ke Diwane Museum inaugurated at Red Fort

    • Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle.

    • Built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the museum is the fifth in a series of recently inaugurated ones - the others being:

    ♦ the Subhash Chandra Bose and  Indian National Army (INA) museum,

    ♦ the Yaad-e-Jallian museum,

    ♦ the Museum on 1857 (on the country’s first war of Independence)

    ♦ the Drishyakala (a museum on Indian Art) — on the sacrifices of India’s freedom fighters.

    Coal minister Goyal dedicates 1,000 MW NTPL power project to nation

    • The 1,000-MW coal-fired thermal power project of NTPL (Neyveli Tamil Nadu Power Ltd) is a joint venture between NLCIL and TANGEDCO with an equity participation of 89:11.

    • Piyush Goyal also dedicated 150-MW solar power projects of NLC India Ltd (NLCIL) in Tamil Nadu.

    • Tamil Nadu is the sole beneficiary of the 150 MW renewable power plants of Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts commissioned and dedicated to the nation.

    RInfra wins Rs 648 crore contract from AAI to build new airport at Gujarat.

    • Reliance Infrastructure (RInra) has bagged a Rs 648 crore contract from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to build a new greenfield airport at Hirasar, in Rajkotdistrict of Gujarat.

    • The new airport is being constructed near National Highway-8B connecting Ahmedabad and Rajkot, nearly 36 km from the existing Rajkot Airport.

    • The government recently approved development of the airport at an estimated cost of 1,405 crore.

    • The airport must be completed within 30 months from the date of issue of the contract.

    Over 93% of rural Indians have toilet access: Govt Survey

    • The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19, commissioned by the government has found that nearly 93% of rural India households have access to toilets and of these, 96.5% uses them.

    • The survey also re-confirmed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status of 90.7% villages.

    • Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in October 2014, 50 crore people have stopped defecating in the open.

    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to completely eliminate open defecation in the country by October 2, 2019.

    Notun Disha Initiated By Tripura Government.

    • The government of Tripura announced ‘Notun Disha’ (New Direction) for assessing the academic level of students in classes III-VIII and then improving their current level.

    • It was launched by state Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath.

    • Training will be provided by NGOs and educational institutions to 800 teachers.

    World Bank to provide 250 Million dollar for NRETP to boost Rural incomes in India

    •  The Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, in New Delhi.

    • The main aim is to promote women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm enterprises across value chains; enable them to build businesses that help them access finance, markets and networks; and generate employment.

    • The $250 million loan has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 20 years.

    • The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) which is currently being implemented across 13 states, 162 districts and 575 blocks, has so far mobilised more than 8.8 million women from poor rural households into 7.5 lakh self-help groups (SHGs).

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    RBI fined 7 banks for delayed SWIFT implementation

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty on 7 Banks for delayed implementation of SWIFT-related operational controls. It fined Rs.4 crore onKarnataka Bank, Rs.3 crore on City Union Bank, Rs.2 crore on DCB Bank and Rs.1 crore on Karur Vysya Bank Ltd., Rs. 4 crore on Indian Bank, Rs.3 crore on IOB and Rs.3 crore onUnited Bank of India for the same violations.

    • SWIFT is the global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

    • RBI had directed banks on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT-related operational controls after the Rs.14, 000 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank.

    POLICY:

    Haryana Cabinet approved the 2019-20 excise policy

    • The Haryana Cabinet approved the excise policy for 2019-20, with a revenue target of Rs.7,500 crore. The decision was taken at a meeting under the chairmanship of CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

    • The Excise policy emphasizes the launch of Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives involving Application and Grant of Licenses online through the Department's Portal www.haryanatax.gov.in. The Policy also enables liquor manufacturers to market Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) in Tetra Packs (biodegradable) of 180 ML, technically called Nips.

    Maharashtra CM Fadnavis unveils states new 5-year industrial policy

    • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unveiled the state’s new 5-year industrial policy emphasising on high-technology and employment generating businesses.

    • The policy which will be effective from 1st of April this year aims to attract investments worth 10 lakh crore rupees.

    • The rate of conversion of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) into actual investments was far higher in Maharashtra than the national average.

    • The national average of converting Memorandums of Understanding into actual investments, after a period of one year from the agreements being inked, could be pegged at 30-35 per cent

    • Maharashtra's average is more than 45 per cent and Magnetic Maharashtra and Make in India in the industrial sector; it has been more than 70 per cent.

    • Mr Fadnavis Maharashtra has always been a leader in the industry sector adding that in the last 4-4.5 years, the state has regained its numero uno position.

    • Minister for Industries and Mining Subhash Desai said new Industrial Policy aims create nearly 40 lakh jobs by 2023-24.

    APPOINTMENTS AND RE-ELCETIVES:

    Vedanta has appointed Ajay Kapur as the CEO of its aluminium and power business

    • Vedanta has appointed Ajay Kapur as the Chief Executive Officer of its aluminium and power business. He joins Vedanta from Ambuja Cements where he was the MD and CEO for its India business.

    • Mr. Kapur brings with him an experience of 31 years across business verticals. He would drive key priorities for the aluminium business, which include a strong focus on volume and cost and improving efficiencies, among others.

    Sheikh Ahmad re-elected as President of Olympic Council of Asia

    • Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah was officially re-elected for an eighth term as President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

    • He won a new five-year term until 2024.

    • Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, also retained his position as a vice-president.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    India to collaborate with 4 countries to increase 3 species of Asian rhinos

    •  India is to collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia, and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent. The five rhino range nations signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting in New Delhi, India.

    • The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.

    Read More
    Read Less
    View All Comments
    Daily Current Affair 

    All Rights Reserved Top Rankers