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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day
- World TB Day is celebrated every year on 24 March annually to commemorate the date when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes TB in 1882.
- This Day is observed to educate people about TB, its impact around the world.
|Theme 2019||It’s Time|
International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
- Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed.
- This annual observance pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980.
- The purpose of the Day is to pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
RSDC launches ‘Project Saamrath’
- The Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) has launched Project Saamrath, which is aimed at skilling, upskilling and reskilling 10 lakh personnel involved in the rubber sector, by 2020.
- The training is being provided under the Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana across natural rubber plantations, tyre services and rubber manufacturing.
- The training is provided for jobs such as Latex Harvest Technician (tapper), Rubber Nursery General Worker, Rubber Processing Technician—Rubber Sheeting and General Worker Rubber Plantation, among others .
Italy becomes first G7 nation to join China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative
- Italy become the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialised nations to join China’s ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure project (BRI), which is inspired by historic, centuries-old trade routes.
- G7 nations consist of: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- BRI is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin Americaand
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
India’s deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya
- India’s deepest shaft cave Krem Um Ladaw was recently discovered in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
- The cave has 105 m deep shaft entrance passage. It was discovered during 28th edition of annual ‘Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition’ that took place in February 2019.
- Its discovery comes one year after discovery of world’s longest sandstone cave Krem Puri in Mawsynram region of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district. Overall 2019 expedition explored and mapped 12.3 kms of new cave passage.
- 8 new caves were also explored and mapped including revisit to Krem Shrieh (Tangnub). Krem Shrieh which was earlier explored in 2000 was now extended from 8,713m to 9,844m.
- Other major caves explored and mapped were Retdung Khur (3724m), Tui Khur Lut (2185m) and Kellung Puk (788m.)
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
SBI raises Rs. 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant tier-I bonds
- The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has raised Rs. 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant additional tier-I bonds.
- The proceeds from these bonds will help SBI to boost its additional tier 1 capital ratio to meet systematically important bank (D-SIB) criteria to which SBI is mandated to meet.
- The bonds with a face value of Rs 10 lakh each bears a coupon rate of 9.45 per cent per annum payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter.
|State Bank of India Headquarters||Mumbai|
|State Bank of India Tagline||The Banker to every Indian|
|State Bank of India Chairperson||Rajnish Kumar|
Forex reserve swells by over $3.6 billion to $405.6 billion
- According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves surged by $3.602 billion to $405.638 billion in week to March 15, 2019. The surge was driven by rise in foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves.
- Forex reserves had increased by $258.8 million to $402.035 billion in the previous week.
- The reserves had touched a life-time high of $426.028 billion in the week to April 13, 2018. Since then, it has been on a slide and is now down by over $20 billion.
- Gold reserves rose by $38.9 million to $23.408 billion.
- The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund rose by $5.9 million to $1.461 billion.
The country’s reserve position with the Fund, too, increased by $12.1 million to $2.995 billion.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Government extends IGST, compensation cess exemption till March 2020
- The directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) has extended integrated GST (IGST) and compensation cess exemptions for goods procurement under advance authorisation scheme, export oriented unit (EOU) scheme and export promotion capital goods (EPCG) scheme of foreign trade policy 2015-20 to 31 March 2020.
- This decision is aimed at giving relief to exporters as they do not have to pay IGST at initial point itself.
- In the GST regime, exporters have to pay the indirect tax and then seek refund, which is cumbersome process.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Saina bags Sportsperson of the Year award
- London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was named ‘Sportsperson of The Year’ at the annual Telangana Sports Journalists Association awards function.
- Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu was named ‘Outstanding Performer’ in women’s section while, Pullela Gopichand was presented the ‘Coach of The Year’ award and the Indian badminton team was the ‘Team of The Year’ and the Badminton Association of Telangana was awarded the ‘Association of the Year’.
64th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2019: Complete winners’ list
- Members from all quarters of Bollywood got together to honour the best of Hindi cinema in 2018 at Jio Garden, Mumbai for the 64th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2019.
|Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)||Ranbir Kapoor for ‘Sanju’|
|Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)||Alia Bhatt for ‘Raazi’|
|Critics Best Actor in Leading Role (Male)||Ranveer Singh for ‘Padmaavat’ tied with Ayushmann Khurrana for ‘Andhadhun’|
|Critics Best Actor in Leading Role (Female)||Neena Gupta for ‘Badhaai Ho’|
|Best Director||Meghna Gulzar for ‘Raazi’|
|Best Film (Popular)||‘Raazi’|
|Critics Best Film||‘Andhadhun’|
|Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male)||Gajraj Rao for ‘Badhaai Ho’ tied with Vicky Kaushal for ‘Sanju’|
|Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female)||Surekha Sikhri for ‘Badhaai Ho’|
|Best Screenplay||Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti, Yogesh Chandekar, Hemanth Rao for ‘Andhadhun’|
|Best Dialogue||Akshat Ghildial for ‘Badhaai Ho’|
|Best Original Story||Anubhav Sinha for ‘Mulk’|
|Best Debut Actor (Male)||Ishaan Khatter|
|Best Debut Actor (Female)||Sara Ali Khan|
|Best Debut Director||Amar Kaushik for ‘Stree’|
|Best Short Film (Popular Choice)||‘Plus Minus’|
|Best Actor (Male) for Short Film||Hussain Dalal for ‘Shameless’|
|Best Actor (Female) for Short Film||Kirti Kulhari for ‘Maya’|
|Best Short Film (Fiction)||‘Rogan Josh’|
|Best Short Film (Non-Fiction)||‘The Soccer City’|
|Gulshan Kumar Award for Best Music Album||Sanjay Leela Bhansali for ‘Padmaavat’|
|Best Lyrics||Gulzar for ‘Ae Watan’ from ‘Raazi’|
|Best Playback Singer (Male)||Arijit Singh for ‘Ae Watan’ from ‘Raazi’|
|Best Playback Singer (Female)||Shreya Ghoshal for ‘Ghoomar’ from ‘Padmaavat’|
|RD Burman Award for New Music Talent||Niladri Kumar|
|Best Cinematography||Pankaj Kumar for ‘Tumbbad’|
|Best VFX||Red Chillies VFX for ‘Zero’|
|Best Background Score||Daniel B. George for ‘Andhadhun’|
|Best Action||Vikram Dahiya and Sunil Rodriguez for ‘Mukkabaaz’|
Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins $1m global teacher award
- Peter Tabichi, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, has won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019
- Peter, donates most of his salary to help poorer students, has been crowned the world’s best teacher and awarded a $1m prize, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.
- Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, received his prize at a ceremony in Dubai hosted by actor Hugh Jackman.
Hinduja family tops Asian Rich List with £25.2 bn
- Leading London-based NRI industrial tycoons, the Hinduja family top the Asian Rich List 2019 for the sixth successive year with an estimated net worth of 25.2 billion pounds, an increase of over 3 billion pounds over the previous year.
- According to the Asian Rich List 2019 released at the Asian Business Awards, Steel magnates Lakshmi Mittal and his son Aditya Mittal remained in second place, with 11.2 billion pounds- down 2.8 billion pounds.
- S P Lohia (Petrochemicals) took the third place with 5.8 billion pounds.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
NATHEALTH appoints Sudarshan Ballal as president for 2019-20
- The healthcare industry’s apex body NATHEALTH appointed Manipal Health Enterprises Chairman Sudarshan Ballal as its president for the year 2019-20.
- He succeeds Fortis Healthcare’s Daljit Singh as the president.
AIBA President Gafur Rahimov resigns
- International Boxing Federation (AIBA) president Gafur Rahimov has resigned on the eve of the decisive IOC executive meeting.
- Mohamed Moustahsane, the head of African Boxing Confederation (AFBC) will serve as interim President of AIBA.
|International Boxing Association (AIBA)|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING AND INDEX
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport 12th busiest in the world
- The nation capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has now become the world’s 12th busiest airport, moving up four places from the 16th spot in 2017.
- According to the preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018 released by the Airports Council International (ACI) , it over took mega-hubs like Frankfurt, Dallas Forth Worth, Guangzhou and Istanbul Ataturk airports.
- The four airports above the IGI Airport are Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shanghai Pudong and Hong Kong, managing over 46 lakh passengers more than IGIA.
- India became the world’s third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput, behind the US and China, in 2018.
India ranks 76th on WEF’s global Energy Transition index
- India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index
- The index has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
- Sweden remains on the top on this annual list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three,
- The WEF stated that energy systems have globally become less affordable and less environmentally sustainable than they were five years ago, though access to energy has improved with less than 1 billion now living without access to electricity.
- Among major economies, the UK is ranked 7th, Singapore 13th, Germany 17th, Japan 18th and the US 27th
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Vega Rocket Launches Earth-Watching PRISMA Satellite for Italy
- Italy’s new Earth-observation satellite named PRISMA (Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa) launched from the Guiana Space Centre by 98 foot (30 meters) tall Vega rocket which was developed by the joint venture of Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
- PRISMA (an Italian acronym for Hyperspectral Precursor of the Application Mission) is designed to provide information about environmental monitoring, resources management, pollution and crop health.
- The satellite includes a medium resolution camera that can view across all visual wavelengths, as well as a hyperspectral imager that can capture a wider range of wavelengths between 400 and 2500 nanometers
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
NITI Aayog’s FinTech Conclave held in New Delhi
- NITI Aayog has organised one day FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi
- The Conclave was inaugurated by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
- The objective of the conference is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
|NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)|
|Vice Chairman||Rajiv Kumar|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
Japan gives $69m to UN World Food Programme
- Japan has donated 69 million dollars to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide vital aid to 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with the biggest shares of the money earmarked for Yemen and Iraq.
- Japan is one of WFP’s top donors and has so far contributed $958 million to UN-WFP y since 2014.
|UNFP HQ||Rome, Italy|
PFC signs pact to acquire majority stake in REC for Rs 14,500 crore
- State-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire all 52.63 per cent shares of the government in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) for about Rs 14,500 crore.
- Under this agreement, PFC will acquire 103.94 crore equity shares of Rs 10 of REC from President constituting 52.63% of paid-up share capital. With this PFC is now slated to become a promoter and the holding company of REC.
- The acquisition will enable increased efficiencies in lending processes and policies across both institutions, and create public value by offering better loan products to the power sector.
ESPN cricinfo in partnership with IIT Madras launches data science based ‘Superstats’
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has launched data science-based ‘Superstats,’ to analyse Cricket games.
- Launched in association with ESPNcricinfo, Superstats is a combination of stats metrics – Luck Index, Forecaster and Smart Stats that uses data science for the first time to give a context to every event in a game and also venture into new territories such as luck and forecasting.
- Researchers from IIT Madras along with its incubated company Gyan Data acquired ball-by-ball database that has more than ten years of detailed data, and scientific methods, processes and complex algorithms based on machine learning (ML).
- The work was led by Raghunathan Rengaswamy and Mahesh Panchagnula.
Oman signs agreement allowing United States military to use its ports
- Oman has signed an agreement with the United States that allow American ships and warplanes to take advantage of his ports and airports
- The agreement will allow the US forces to take advantage from the facilities offered at some of the Sultanate’s ports and airports during visits of the US military vessels and aircraft, particularly in the port of Duqm
- Duqm port is located in southern Oman on the Arabian Sea and around 500 kilometres from the Strait of Hormuz
|Oman Currency||Omani rial|
|Oman President||Qaboos bin Said al Said|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS
Hamid Ansar launched Navin Chawla’s new book titled ‘Every Vote Counts’
- Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla’s book ‘Every Vote Counts -The Story of India’s Elections’was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari in New Delhi.
- The book has been published by HarperCollins India.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga to retire from international cricket after Twenty20 World Cup
- Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year’s Twenty20 World Cupto be held in Australia.
- He would also quit one-day internationals after the2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
- He made his ODI debut in 2004, becoming thefirst to clinch two World Cup hat-tricks and the first to take three ODI hat-tricks.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Kannada actor L V Sharada passed away
- Kannada film industry’s Veteran Kannada actress L V Sharada Rao, who is well-known for acting in films like ‘Ganiamma’ (1983), ‘Vamshavruksha’ (1971), and ‘Adi Shankaracharya’ (1983) has passed away.
- She entered the Kannada filmdom through ‘Vamsha Vruksha’ (1971) and won the state award for best actress in her debut role ‘Kathyayini’