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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
World Forestry Day
- World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests is celebrated every year to raise public awareness about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance life cycle on the earth.
- In 1971, the World Forestry Day was established at the 23rd General Assembly of European Confederation of Agriculture. And it was decided to be celebrated as an annual event celebration on 21st of March by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
|Theme 2019||Learn To Love Forests!|
World Down Syndrome Day
- World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on 21 March every year.
- On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organise and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.
|Theme 2019||Leave No One Behind|
World Poetry Day
- World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March every year
- It is a day to encourage people to read, write, teach, and publish poetry and to recognise the great cultural contribution poetry makes to human society.
- World Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO in 1999.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Kazakhstan renames capital Astana as Nursultan after ex-President
- Kazakhstan’s parliament voted to rename the country’s capital Astana as Nursultan in honour of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, a day after he resigned as president.
- Kazakhstan’s new interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed renaming the capital. The new president will serve till April 2020.
- Astana replaced Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty as the capital in 1997.
|Kazakhstan Currency||Kazakhstani tenge|
|Kazakhstan Prime Minister||Askar Mamin|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
India Post releases ‘Special Stamp Cover on Ice Stupas’
- Department of Post (DoP) under Ministry of Communication & Technology has released Special Stamp on Ice Stupa (Artificial Glacier) in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir.
- This special stamp is aimed at creating awareness about depleting glaciers and its effect on the ecology around the Himalayas.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
RBI to reform Ways And Means Advance system for states
- Reserve Bank of India has proposed a rule-based approach in fixing new Ways and Means limits for the state governments, replacing the previous expenditure-based system.
- It will set up a panel to recommend parameters of the new system which is aimed at preventing automatic monetisation of deficits.
- The central bank which acts as debt manager for state governments provides short-term loan to them to bridge temporary liquidity mismatches. The temporary loan facility is called Ways and Means Advances.
- The states have also agreed to link their receipts and payment systems with RBI’s integrated accounting system (e-Kuber) for greater system efficiency.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Ashis Nandy honoured with Hans Kilian Award 2019
- Sociologist and political psychoanalyst Ashis Nandy and co-founder of the postcolonial theory was named recipient of Hans Kilian Award for the year 2019 instituted by the Köhler Foundation.
- He was chosen for his efforts to adapt western traditions of thought such as psychoanalysis to non-western context.
- He was awarded prestigious Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2007. He was included as one of world’s 100 most important public intellectuals in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2008.
- The Hans Kilian Award is given to researchers whose outstanding scientific achievements provide insight into the historical and cultural existence of humankind and the constantly evolving human psyche
- The award has been named after Prof. Hans Kilian (1921-2008), who held the Chair of Social Psychology and Applied Psychoanalysis at the University of Kassel, Germany.
Physicist Marcelo Gleiser wins Templeton Prize 2019
- Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser 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.
- He has written best-selling books and appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, discussing science as spiritual quest to understand origins of universe and life on Earth.
Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi honoured with Vyas Samman 2018
- Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi will be honoured with the Vyas Samman 2018 by the KK Birla Foundation for his collection of poems ‘Jitne Log Utne Prem’.
- Jagudi’s poems represent different stages as he imbibes every turning point of his life and reflects all which are recollected in tranquillity.
- The Vyas Samman, started in 1991 is given to an ‘outstanding literary work’ in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen which has been published in the last decade. The award carries an amount of 4 lakh.
- Mr Jagudi’s literary work published in 2013 was short-listed by the five-member selection committee chaired by Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
- In the year 2017, honour was given to Mamta Kalia for her novel ‘Dukham Sukkham’.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
ECI appoints Shailendra Handa & Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers
- Election Commission has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Shailendra Handa and Ms. Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.
- Shailendra Handa has been deployed in Maharashtra and Madhu Mahajan has been deployed in Tamil Nadu.
- The Special Observers will supervise and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery.
- They will ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons and entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash and liquor.
|Chief Election Commissioner||Sunil Arora|
|Election Commissioner||Ashok Lavasa, Sushil Chandra|
|ECI Headquarters||New Delhi|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING AND INDEX
Spice Jet becomes first Indian low- cost airline to join IATA
- Budget carrier SpiceJet has joined global airlines’ grouping International Air Transport Association (IATA), becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership and fifth member in India
- The IATA membership is significant on account of SpiceJet’s plans to expand its international footprint. Other Indian members of the IATA include Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.
- The membership also allows SpiceJet to explore and grow its collaborations with international member airlines of IATA through interlining and code shares
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
WhatsApp partners with NASSCOM to Impart Digital Literacy
- WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation came together to impart digital literacy training to curb fake news during the general elections.
- As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
SBI inks pact with Bank of China for business opportunities
- The country’s largest lender SBI stated that it has signed a pact with the Bank of China to boost business opportunities.
- Both SBI and BoC will gain direct access to their respective markets of operation.
- SBI has a branch in Shanghai and BOC is opening its branch in Mumbai.
- This MoU will facilitate the clients of both the banks to access banking products and services of each other, which will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.
|State Bank of India Headquarters||Mumbai|
|State Bank of India Tagline||The Banker to every Indian|
|State Bank of India Chairperson||Rajnish Kumar|
|Bank of China Headquarters||Beijing, China|
|Bank of China Chairman||Chen Siqing|
Exim Bank gives $83 mn line of credit to Congo
- Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has, on behalf of the government, extended three lines of credit (LOC) aggregating $83.11 million to the government of Congo to finance three solar power projects in the central African country
- The loan will be utilised for financing three solar photovoltaic power projects with a total capacity of 35 megawatt in the three provinces — Karawa, Mbandaka and Lusambo.
- The LOC agreements were exchanged between Ambassador of Congo to India Mossi Nyamale Rosette and Exim Bank Managing Director David Rasquinha during the 14th CII-Exim Conclave 2019 which was held at New Delhi
- Exim Bank, till date, has extended 10 LOC to the government of Congo on behalf of government of India, taking the total value of LOCs extended to $578.05 million
- With this line of credit, Exim Bank has now put in place 244 LOCs covering 63 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the CIS with credit commitments of around $23.43 billion available for financing exports from India.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS
RBI Governor launches the book ‘Indian Fiscal Federalism’
· Dr. Y.V. Reddy and G.R. Reddy authored the book ‘Indian Fiscal Federalism and it was launched by the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Shri Shaktikanta Das .
- Y.V. Redy has served as the Governor of RBI during 2003-2008.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
IBM creates Blockchain-based global payment network
- Information Technology (IT) major IBM has created a Blockchain-based global payment network that transmits monetary value in the form of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies or ‘stable coins’.
- The payment network called World Wire uses the Stellar protocol that reduces intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement time.
- World Wire has already enabled payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints.
SAIL launched Smart Garbage bins made of steel
- Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has launched smart garbage bins made of stainless steel.
- These smart garbage bins will be able to send a signal to the garbage collection vehicle about the ‘fill-up’ position of the bin, aiding better cleaning and lower human intervention.
- The environment-friendly garbage bins will be made of SAIL SALEM stainless steel.
- These will be installed in underground Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) pits at the Smart Garbage Station. This will help prevent the spread of stink and diseases.
|Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)|
|SAIL CEO||Anil Kumar Chaudhary|
|SAIL Headquarters||New Delhi|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES
Former SC Judge Justice S B Sinha Passed away
- Former Supreme Court judge Justice Satya Brata Sinha passed away
- Justice Sinha was appointed as a judge of the apex court on October 3, 2002 and he retired on August 8, 2009
- After retirement, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).