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Important Current Affairs of 7th July

NATIONAL:

Jaipur’s walled city gets UNESCO heritage city tag.

• The ‘Walled City’ of Jaipur was on Saturday included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites list.

• The announcement was made during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee being held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from June 30 to July 10. India received the support of 16 out of the 21 countries participating in the event.

•  Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, is the 38th Indian site to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

INTERNATIONAL:

Italian socialist Sassoli to be president of EU Parliament.

• Italian socialist David-Maria Sassoli was elected Wednesday to head the European parliament, completing the bloc’s drawn-out and at times acrimonious appointment process for its top jobs.

• The European Parliament has an array of powers within the EU including given its ascent to the others that EU leaders picked for its top jobs.

About European Parliament:

• The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union that is directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the European Commission and the Council of the European Union it exercises the tripartite legislative function of the European Union.

FOUNDED: 10 September 1952, Europe

Head Quarter: Brussel, Belgium

About Sassoli:

• Sassoli, 63, is a journalist turned politician who has been in the European Parliament since 2009.

• David Maria Sassoli is an Italian politician and journalist, member of the Democratic Party. A member of the European Parliament since 2009, he was elected its President on 3 July 2019.

• Office: President of the European Parliament since 2019

• Presidential Term: 3 July 2019 –

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’S:

Signing of MOU Between Indian Army and National e-Governance Division.

• Management Information Systems Organisation (MISO) of Indian Army is the nodal agency under Directorate General of Information Systems (DGIS) which is mandated to maintain the centralized database for personnel, equipment and major stores for providing management related information to Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) and other agencies.  The application was legacy and needed a thorough revamp

• To meet the organizational requirements and enhanced user aspirations, rather than employing the conventional developmental framework, DGIS experimented with a new collaborative approach with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for developing the new MISO application.  Development work, under the aegis of MeitYstarted at Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar which is a CMMI-5 level institute under Department of Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat. In a short span of time, the experiment has paid rich dividends and has appeared as the panacea for undertaking automation of the IA at the fast pace.

• To formalize the entire developmental framework, structures & methodology, Lt Gen Anil Kapoor, Director General of Information Systems and Colonel Commandant, Corps of EME and Mr M S Rao, President & CEO, Ne GD inked a MoU on 05 Jul 19, in the presence of Shri TP Singh, Director, BISAG.

• This signing of MoU is first of its kind inter-ministerial initiative between MoD & MeitY and is sure to lead to similar joint frameworks for finding innovative solutions in the collaborative manner for the IA.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Milind Deora resigns as Mumbai Congress chief.

• Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora resigned from the post on Sunday. Deora also proposed a three-member panel to lead Mumbai Congress for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections. The 42-year-old had been appointed to the post on March 25 this year. He had replaced Sanjay Nirupam, who had held the post since March 2017.

Jyotiraditya Scindia resigns as Congress general secretary.

• enior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday resigned as Congress General Secretary (Uttar Pradesh West) over party's defeat in Lok Sabha elections. Scindia's resignation comes after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress President on July 3.

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Important Current Affairs of 1st July

NATIONAL:

Aparna Kumar created history by becoming the first civil servant and IPS officer to achieve the 7 Summits challenge.

• Aparna Kumar created history by becoming the first civil servant and IPS officer to achieve the incredible and rare feat of completing ‘7 Summits’ challenge'.  Kumar hoisted India's tricolour on Mount Denali in Alaska, USA. Mount Denali is the highest peak of North America standing at 20,310 ft. She scaled the summit in her third attempt.

Aparna Kumar:

• Aparna Kumar is an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Dehra Dun Frontier DIG. She is also the first woman IPS officer to reach the South Pole on January 13 after walking 111 kilometres with 35 kilograms of equipment on her back.

• In 2016, she became the first officer of the All India Services to successfully scale Antarctica’s highest peak Mount Vinson Massif followed by Mount Manaslu in Nepal in 2017.

Mount Denali:

• Mount Denali is considered the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. It is also the tallest peak outside of Asia.

• Seven Summits:

• The seven listed summits in the challenge are:

• 1) Mount Everest in Nepal/China

• 2) Aconcagua in Argentina

• 3) Denali in the US

• 4) Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

• 5) Mount Elbrus in Russia

• 6) Mount Vinson in Antarctica

• 7) Puncak Jaya and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia

Other Mountaineers in Summit Challenge:

• Canadian mountaineer Patrick Morrow was the first man to climb the Seven Summits in 1986.

• Indian Army officer Colonel Ranveer Singh Jamwal is the first Indian to summit the seven highest peaks spread across the seven continents. He is a recipient of India's highest adventure award, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award Jamwal is also the first officer from the Indian Army to achieve this feat.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’S:

India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka

• India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka. The anti-tank missile will be added to the fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers of Indian Air Force (IAF). This deal comes in  wake of an IAF’s attempt to keep itself battle-ready in situations like post-Balakot aerial strikes. The Strum Ataka anti-tank missile would give an added capability to Mi-35 attack choppers of IAF to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements.

• Mi-35s are set to be replaced with Apache gunships being acquired from United States (US) and slated to be delivered from August onwards.

About Emergency clause:

• After 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, emergency powers were given to Indian Defence forces and India started increasing vigil at borders with Pakistan. Under, emergency powers given to three services, they can procure equipment of their choice within 3 month at a cost of about Rs.300 crore per case.

• IAF has emerged as front runner in terms of weapon acquisition under emergency procurement, followed by Indian Army. Under emergency provisions IAF has acquired also acquired Spice-2000 stand-off weapon system along with a number of spare and air to air mission.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

NS Vishwanathan reappointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for 1 year.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the reappointment of NS Vishwanathan as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of one year from July 4, 2019. NS Vishwanathan's term as Deputy Governor was supposed to end on July 3, 2019. Earlier, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resigned citing personal circumstances.

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Important Current Affairs 20th April 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

INS Shakti, INS Kolkata to take part in Chinese Navys 70th anniversary celebrations.

•   The two Indian Navy Ships (INS) are scheduled to visit Chinese port of Qingdao from 21 to 26 April to participate in an International Fleet Review to celebrate the 70th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

•  INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.

•  INS Shakti is tanker and supply ship.

•  Over 60 countries would join the commemorative event for the PLA Navy’s 70th founding anniversary on April 23.

INTERNATIONAL NEW

A Book of poem Khooni Vaisakhi on Jallianwala Bagh massacre, released in UAE.

• A book containing English translation of the 100-year-old classic Punjabi poem about Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ released in Abu Dhabi.

• India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri commended the launch of the book.

• The poem was translated by Mr. Suri whose grandfather, revolutionary poet and novelist Nanak Singh, a Jallianwala Bagh survivor, wrote it after witnessing first-hand the events of April 13, 1919.

Christina Koch To Set Record For Longest Spaceflight By A Woman.

• NASA astronaut Christina Koch going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days, which would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

• Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 14 is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020 will eclipse the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and France to hold their largest Naval Exercise VARUNA.

• India and France are all set to hold their largest-ever naval exercise with aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and fighters early May as part of their expanding strategic partnership.

• The exercise has been christened 'Varuna' and will take place off Goa and Karwar from 1 May 2019.

The conduct of Varuna exercise was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.

• The two countries will be deploying their aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and FNS Charles de gaulle with their Mig-29K and Rafale-M naval fighter jets.

• The Indian participation will also include the destroyer INS Mumbai, frigate INS Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I aircrafts and Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft.

• This comes after the successful operationalisation of the logistics support agreement between India and France under which Indian warships can access the French bases like Reunion Islands and in Djibouti.

Under the same pact, French anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard had docked at the Mumbai naval port in January 2019. This was second such logistics support agreement signed by India after the one signed by it with United States (US) in 2016.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance got ISO 31000:2018 certification.

• An insurance giant Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has received ISO 31000:2018 certification by TUV India. Chola MS has received certification for applying risk management system which conforms to the prescribed standards.

The Certificate is valid for a period of 3 years from April 07, 2019, to April 06, 2022.

• ISO 31000:2018 certification:

ISO 31000:2018 is an international risk management standard. The standard provides guidelines, principles, framework, and a process for managing risk.

It can be used by any organization regardless of its size, activity or sector. The application of these guidelines can be customized to any organization and its context.

Bank of Maharashtra Joins M1X change TReDS Platform for MSME Bill Discounting.

• Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) partnered with M1Xchange Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform for MSME bill discounting.

• TReDS is a digital platform to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get their bills financed at a competitive rate through an auction where multiple registered financiers can participate.

Mynd Solutions is a technology management firm which runs the TReDS platform of M1Xchange.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Shri N. Kashinath designated as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• Shri N. Kashinath took over as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board.

• He was associated with Train Describer Project, Survey for the Mobile Train Radio Communication in Northeast Frontier Railway,

• Shri N. Kashinath belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE).

Dubai based RAKEZ appointed Cricket Champion Ravi Shastri as a Corporate Ambassador.

• Former Cricketer Ravi Shastri appointed as Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) exclusive Corporate Ambassador to the Indian Business Community. Brand Ambassador may attract more Indian business leaders to set up or expand their operations in UAE through RAKEZ. This first-of-its-kind approach is one of the many other initiatives that RAKEZ will be launching in the future to attract more investors from all over the world and boost the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.

ECI appointed Bihar Ex CEO AjayV Nayak as Special Observer for West Bengal.

• Election Commission of India (ECI) appointed Bihar's former Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

• Ajay V. Nayak as a special observer for West Bengal

He is a retired IAS officer of the 1984-batch has been appointed as a special observer for West Bengal by ECI.

• The Commission has earlier appointed Vivek Dube as the special police observer for the state.

Deutsche Bank appoints Kaushik Shaparia as CEO For India.

• Deutsche Bank appointed Kaushik Shaparia as the chief executive officer for India He succeeds Ravneet Gill. Gill left the bank to head private lender YES Bank. Shaparia’s appointment will be effective from May 2019.

SPORTS:

Bajrang regained top spot in world wrestling rankings.

• India's Bajrang Punia has regained the world number one spot in the men's 65-kilogram Wrestling freestyle category rankings.

The rankings were released by United World Wrestling.

• Punia, who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

• Bajrang, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from the 23rd of this month, had first reached the world number one spot in November last year.

• He won gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria last month.

• Punia secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia.

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Important Current Affairs 13th April 2019

NATIONAL:

Indian Railways unrolls new quota for foreigners and NRIs to book tickets.

• Indian Railways is one of the leading railway systems in the world. With new enthusiasm, Indian Railways introducing new schemes for the betterment of services and exciting plans.

• Indian Railways lifted restrictions so that now Foreigners and NRIs can book tickets in all classes. The foreign tourists who travel in Indian trains are allowed to book tickets in the first AC, second AC and executive classes through IRCTC website up to 365 days in advance.

• Under the FTQ category, the Railways has allocated four berths per coach in a sleeper and 3rd AC classes while seats have been parked per coach in chair car classes.

Nizamabad Lok Sabha Seat May Enter Guinness Book With Record EVMs.

• Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana, which went to elections, may well get into the Guiness Book of World Record for the use of largest number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). 

• With a high number of 185 candidates, including 178 farmers, in the contest, the Election Commission (EC) used 12 EVMs in each booth in the constituency. In any constituency, usually one or maximum four EVMs are used with one control unit in each booth, but in Nizamabad, 12 EVMs were linked to one control unit and the constituency has 1,778 polling centres.

• The EC used M3 type EVMs which can support up to 24 BUs (ballot Units). Each BU will have 24 names. Besides, large number of BUs, the EC used 2,200 Control Units and about 2,600 VVPATs for Nizamabad Constituency.

• This new version of EVMs was developed by the Electronics Corp of India Ltd (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

INTERNATIONAL:

SpaceX launched its first commercial mission.

• SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world, launched its first commercial mission from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Space Company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

• The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

Google partners with MMTC-PAMP India.

• Google has partnered with bullion refiner MMTC-PAMP India to allow Google Pay users to buy and sell gold through the app.

• Through this partnership with India’s only LBMA-accredited gold refinery, Google Pay users will be able to buy 99.99% 24-karat gold. This type of service is already offered by the likes of Paytm, Mobikwik, and PhonePe.

AITA signs MoU with STF to train Indian junior players.

• The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Serbian Tennis Federation (STF) to train Indian junior players under world-renowned Serbian coaches at the R.K. Khanna Stadium, New Delhi.

• The MoU was signed on 10th April by AITA Secretary-General Hironmoy Chatterjee and STF CEO Dusan Orlandic. Trainers and coaches from Serbia will come to India for a week/ two-week camp in the under-12, 14, 16 and 18 categories.

Tata Trust and Microsoft signed MoU to support handloom weaving community.

• Tata Trusts and Microsoft India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly rejuvenate the handloom clusters in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.

• Project ReWeave: Microsoft’s Project ReWeave will help preserve traditional weaving forms by upskilling workers, designing and marketing merchandise, and creating sustainable livelihood options.

• Microsoft will also enable digital training through Project Sangam, a Microsoft Azure-based Learning Management System, which provides necessary training and tools to weaving communities to help them realise their full potential. Antaran initiative: Tata Trusts’ initiative, Antaran, aims at rejuvenating ailing handloom clusters through an end-to-end programme.

•  Intensive work has been initiated in Odisha, Assam and Nagaland. The programme will benefit 3,000 artisans directly involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post loom processes, impacting the livelihood of weavers in six weaving clusters in these three States. Craft sector is the country’s largest source of employment after agriculture.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

Hong Kong’s stock market overtakes Japan to become worlds 3rd largest.

• According to Bloomberg,  Hong Kong has overtaken Japan as the world’s third largest stock market – after the U.S. and mainland China.

• Hong Kong’s market cap was $5.78 trillion as of April 2nd week, compared with $5.76 trillion for Japan.

•  Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has been the main driver with a 22 percent gain. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 17 per cent this year through Tuesday, when it closed at its highest since June 15. Japan’s Topix Index advanced 8.3 percent in that period.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Nitin Chugh likely to be appointed as MD & CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

• Nitin Chugh, digital banking head of private sector lender HDFC Bank, is likely to succeed Samit Ghosh, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. Mr.Ghosh, who is also the founder of Ujjivan SFB, will retire in November 2019.

• The Bengaluru-based small finance bank has already applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for approval to appoint Mr.Chugh as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Mr.Chugh has over 23 years of experience.

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Important Current Affairs of 19th March

NATIONAL:

NCLT approved ArcelorMittal to buy Essar Steel.

• The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLT) gave a conditional nod to a Rs.42,000-crore offer by world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal to buy Essar Steel. NCLT said that the acceptance of the resolution plan submitted by ArcelorMittal and partner Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. would be subject to its final order in the appeal filed by the promoters of debt-laden Essar Steel against the move.

Indian Navy stand behind the cyclone hit Mozambique.

• India decides to divert three Indian naval ships to the port city of Beira in Mozambique to provide humanitarian assistance to the people affected by tropical cyclone ‘#IDAI’. The coastal city of Beira on Friday, 15 March.

• The city's power grid has currently crashed, the airport has been shut and most roads are inaccessible. The Indian Navy diverted ships to the African country for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) work. The Navy Spokesperson tweeted about the mission and on being the first-respondents for disaster relief.

Assam gets digital awareness, launches i-help initiative to promote electoral literacy.

• Assam launched an initiative ‘i-help’ to promote digital electoral literacy in the state launched in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The 'i-help' is a joint initiative of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Common Service Centres (CSC) in Assam.

• The CSCs are internet-enabled access points spread throughout the country delivering various government and non- government digital services to the citizens and is uniquely positioned in rural areas to significantly extend the awareness and outreach activities of CEO, Assam.

• The CSC has a presence in all the 2,528-gram panchayats in the state and there are 4,587 functional centres at present.

Microsoft Launched Project Sangam To Boost Indias Swachh Bharat Mission.

• Microsoft announced that it has partnered with The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to promote its Project ‘Sangam’ which is developed to accelerate Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in India. It is one of the world’s largest Cleanliness Programme. About Microsoft Industry: Computer software Headquarters: Hyderabad, India Key people: Bhaskar Pramanik (Chairman)

NGT questioned MoEF for not furnishing proper data.

• The National Green Tribunal (NGT) questioned the Union Environment Ministry for not furnishing proper data on monitoring mechanism for compliance of conditions of environment clearance granted by the Ministry.  The observations came following submissions by the Ministry that a mechanism existed to periodically monitor the compliance of environmental clearance conditions which was being strengthened.

• The tribunal had in January directed the MoEF to furnish data on the same following which it submitted that a total of 6,779 projects were monitored between 2013-2014 and 2018-19. The Ministry informed the Bench that while in 2013-14, 843 projects were monitored, in 2018-19, it was 1,002.  A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel instructed Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to appear before the tribunal on April 29.

INTERNATIONAL:

Vijit becomes the first Indian Coast Guard ship to visit Indonesia.

• This visit of the coast guard ship follows from the first-ever-visit of Naval Ship INS Sumitra to Sabang in July 2018

• Vijit's visit to Sabang, Indonesia, also highlights strengthening cooperation in the area of maritime security and safety between New Delhi and Jakarta. ICGS Vijit is the 2nd in the series of 90 meter Offshore Patrol Vessels and was commissioned at Goa on 11 Dec 2010.

• 'Vijit' meaning "Winner or Victorious" is the testimony of India's shipbuilding capabilities and the resolve of Govt of India to safeguard country's maritime interests.

UNEA has adopted two resolutions piloted by India.

• The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) has adopted two resolutions piloted by India on single-use plastics and sustainable nitrogen management. The resolutions were passed at the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) which was held in Nairobi. The theme of the fourth session of UNEA was Innovative Solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable production and consumption. 

Joint military exercise, Sary Arka Antiterror 2019, to be held in Uzbekistan.

• The decision to hold Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019, the first joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was announced at the during the 34th meeting of the RATS council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The exercise is to be held Sary Arka, Kazakhstan.

Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes 13 billion light-years away from Earth

• Astronomers have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes 13 billion light-years away from the Earth, from a time when the universe was less than 10 per cent of its present age. A professor at Princeton University in the US, Michael Strauss said, it is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang.

•  A statement that the understanding of how black holes can form in the early universe, and just how common they are, is a challenge for the cosmological models. This finding, published in the Astrophysical Journal, increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably, and reveals, for the first time, how common they are early in the universe's history.

•  In addition, it provides new insight into the effect of black holes on the physical state of gas in the early universe in its first billion years. The Supermassive black holes, found at the centres of galaxies can be millions or even billions of times more massive than the Sun. A supermassive black hole becomes visible when gas accretes onto it, causing it to shine as a quasar.

Cyclone Idai affected over 1.5 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

• Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have been hit by a vicious cyclone that has killed nearly 150 people, left hundreds more missing and stranded tens of thousands. According to the UN and government officials, Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries. The port city of Beira in Mozambique was hit the hardest. The deaths are mainly in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani, a mountainous area along the eastern border with Mozambique that is popular with tourists.

Soyuz successfully placed astronauts in ISS.

• Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin successfully docked International Space Station (ISS).  Soyuz Spacecraft is a Russian Spacecraft carries people and supplies to and from the space station. Soyuz Spacecraft also function as lifeboats and one Soyuz spacecraft is always docked to the space station, so that in case of emergency the crew can return to earth through the spacecraft.

• After the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, the Soyuz spacecraft has become the sole means of transportation for crew members going to or returning from the orbiting laboratory.  The International Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory.

AWARDS:

Indian writer Raghu Karnad won Windham Campbell Prize.

• Indian Writer Raghu Karnad has won the Windham-Campbell Prize $165,000 under the non-fiction category for his debut book, The Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War. Raghu Karnad is the second Indian to receive the award. Earlier in 2016, Jerry Pinto had won the award for his novel, Em And The Big Hoom.

•  Karnad is one of the eight winners chosen across four categories: fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. The other awardee in the non-fiction category was American writer Rebecca Solnit for the diverse body of work she has produced over her career.  The Windham-Campbell Prize is administered by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in the US.

•  It was established in 2013. The award was constituted with the generous gift from writer Donald Windham in memory of his partner Sandy Campbell. The jury selects two winners each for each of the category.

MOUS AND POLICY:

India & Afghanistan Signed an MOU On Digital Education Initiatives.

• The Ministry of Human Resource Development has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Afghanistan government to work on digital education initiatives, which include many prominent programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).  The MoU was signed at IIT-Madras. 

About Afghanistan

• President: Ashraf Ghani

• 1st Vice President: Abdul Rashid Dostum

• 2nd Vice President: Sarwar Danish

• Chief Executive Officer : Abdullah Abdullah

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.

APPOINTMENT:

Goa Speaker Pramod Sawant sworn-in as new Chief Minister of Goa.

• Pramod Sawant (45), former Speaker of Goa legislative Assembly and MLA from Sankhelim in North Goa was sworn-in as 13th Chief Minister of Goa, succeeding Manohar Parrikar, who died on March 17 after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. Sudin alias Ramkrishna Dhavlikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward Party were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers. Nine other leaders also took oaths as cabinet ministers.

SPORTS:

For the first time ever Bengaluru FC crowned ISL Champions.

• Bengaluru FC clinched their maiden Indian Super League title as Rahul Bheke found a championship-winning header in the dying minutes of the final against FC Goa, in Mumbai. The two teams were locked 0-0 after 90 minutes. Even the first extra time saw no goals but Bengaluru got better of a 10-men Goan team 1-0, four minutes from the end of the second extra half.

India finished second in medal tally at Asian Youth Championships.

• Indian youth team finish second in the overall medals tally with a total of 26 medals including eight gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals. China topped the overall medals tally with 31 medals that included 12 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze medals. Japan finished third with 20 medals that included 6 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 bronze. Asian Youth Athletics Championships 2019 was held in Hong Kong.

Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth finished runner-up at Swiss Open.

• Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth won the silver medal at the Swiss Open after losing the men's singles final to world number two and top-seeded Chinese shuttler Shi Yuqi in Basel, Switzerland. About 2019 Swiss Open: The 2019 Swiss Open, officially the YONEX Swiss Open 2019, was a badminton tournament which took place at St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland and had a total purse of $150,000.

Valtteri Bottas Won Australian F1 Grand Prix 2019

• Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas beat his world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton to clinch the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix. Bottas, who claimed his first race win since Abu Dhabi in 2017claimed the extra point for the fastest lap in the race.

India bags 188 medals at Special Olympics World Games.

• India won a total of 188 medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. The medals include 50 gold, 63 silver and 75 bronze medals. In table tennis India won four gold and one silver medal. In Judo, Sonu Kumar from Rohtak, Haryana won the gold medal by winning all three bouts. Muskan bagged a silver.

• Four Silver medals were bagged by Santoshi Vijay Kauthankar from Goa in the female category. India sent a 378-strong contingent that is participating in the 15th edition of the Games. The closing ceremony of Special Olympics World Games is scheduled for March 21. 

Mukesh Ambani Tops Forbes List of Worlds Richest Sports Team Owners.

• The chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani tops with a net worth of around $50 billion. Ambani bought the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians for over $100 million through RIL's 100 percent subsidiary IndiaWin Sports. The team had won the IPL crown in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

• Former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer who own the Los Angeles Clippers team placed at the second spot in the list. He purchased the basketball team for about $2 billion after he retired from Microsoft. Red Bull energy drink company founder Dietrich Mateschitz followed at number three spot. He owns Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, Formula One team Red Bull Racing and MLS club New York Red Bulls.

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BSNL, Microsoft sign MoU to offer IT Solutions


BSNL and Microsoft India have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to offer telecom and IT solutions for big businesses to meet the demand for IT and cloud services. 
•    This will help audio and video needs of BSNL's enterprise customers, including government organizations. 
•    Notably, BSNL has large shares in landline network, including leased line connectivity to various enterprises.
•    BSNL and Microsoft India have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to offer telecom and IT solutions for big businesses to meet the demand for IT and cloud services. 
•    It was incorporated on 15 September 2000.
•    It is the largest provider of fixed telephony and broadband services with more than 60% market share and sixth largest mobile telephony provider in India
•    However, in recent years the company's revenues and market share have plummeted into heavy losses due to intense competition in the Indian telecommunications sector

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Indian Railways Ties Up with Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara

In a significant move aimed at professional enrichment of its manpower, Ministry of Railways has decided to send its officers for acquiring MBA degree. Accordingly, the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), Vadodara, which is the apex level training institute of Indian Railways for imparting training to Railway Officers, has signed an MoU with Maharaja Sayajirao(MS) University, Vadodara for award of MBA degree in specific Railway fields to railway probationary officers belonging to Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) and Indian Railway Store Service (IRSS). The MoU was signed this week in the august presence of Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. This step is being viewed as an important measure of enhancing professional management education in the specific railway fields to the Railway Probationary Officers. This programme will start from August, 2016 itself. 
•    Railway probationary officers who are currently trained at NAIR, will study and obtain MBA degree from the University with specialization in respective fields e.g Finance, Human Resource Management, Production and Operations Management and Marketing Management. 
•    This formal tie-up also enables MS University to select students at their end for MBA along with Railway officers. These students will also be awarded MBA degree in respective disciplines. This will also serve the requirements of railway related infrastructural construction contractors, suppliers, Metros and Port Railways. They can also seek employment in Railways, by appearing in exam conducted by UPSC.

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Telangana and ISRO sign MoU over water info system 

Telangana State Government on 6 August 2016 launched a unique Water Resources Information System to assess accurate reserves of water in thousands of Tanks and reservoirs across the state.
•    For this purpose, the Telangana Irrigation Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization over sharing satellite data.
•    The new system will be set up by ISRO's National Remote Sensing Centre.
•    The unique system will help the government authorities to plan for new irrigation projects as well as maintaining transparency in governance. 
•    The Water Resources Information will also pave way for other states to explore possibilities to utilize technology.
•    The Indian Space Research Organization is the space agency of the Indian government headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. 
 

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