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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
National Science Day
- National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir C. V. Raman on 28 February 1928.
- The theme of the year 2020 is “Women in Science.”
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
FM Nirmala Sitharaman launches Ease 3.0 for tech-enabled banking
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Ease (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) 3.0 reform agenda.
- EASE 3.0 agenda aims at providing smart, tech-enabled public sector banking for aspiring India. This launch of EASE 3.0 would change the customer’s experience at the Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
- New features that customers of public sector banks may experience under EASE 3.0 reforms agenda include facilities like
- Palm Banking for “End-to-end digital delivery of financial service”.
- “Banking on Go” via EASE banking outlets at frequently visited spots like malls, stations, complexes, and campuses.
- Digitalising the experience at public sector bank branches is also on the cards under EASE 3.0.
The idea behind EASE 3.0 agenda
- The idea of establishing paperless and digitally-enabled banking at places where people visit the most.
- The government aims to focus on digitalization in the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) among themes that include responsible banking, PSBs as Udyami Mitra, customer responsiveness, credit take-off, and deep financial inclusions.
- Government is trying to overhaul the customer experience with the introduction of features like Dial-a-loan, credit at a click, alternate-data-based lending or other analytics-based credit offers.
- FM launches #EASE3.0 for smart & tech-enabled banking. Digital & data-driven #PSBs to enhance EASE of banking through the use of FinTech, AI & analytics. Overhauled customer experience with Dial-a-loan, [email protected], & analytics-based credit offers.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Facebook cancels its annual F8 developers conference
- Facebook has cancelled its annual F8 developers conference, the biggest annual event for the US tech giant, over fears about the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.
- The gathering in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose – which had been set for early May – typically draws thousands of software makers from around the world who collaborate with the tech giant on its platform.
- US public health officials confirmed a coronavirus case in Northern California, the first of unknown origin out of about 60 cases, and have told Americans to be ready to cancel mass gatherings and work from home.
- Both Facebook and Microsoft said that they were withdrawing from the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco set for March.
- HQ- California, USA
- CEO-Mark Zuckerberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
Atal Innovation Mission Labs, NITI & NASSCOM partner to bring AI modules to Indian schools
- NITI Aayog, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) based module rolled out for students in Indian schools.
- The AI-Base Module has been introduced for students to leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and further empowers them to innovate and create valuable solutions benefiting societies at large. The module contains activities, videos, and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various concepts of AI.
- Technology innovation over the last decade was breathtakingly fast as industries became intertwined with emerging technologies like never before. It has been estimated that by 2030, the global market in AI is likely to be in the range of $15 trillion, out of which India’s share will be close to a trillion.
- AI has become a strategic lever for economic growth across nations and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future. Given its impact, it is an embracing step taken by NITI Aayog to introduce the resources for students to learn AI. This will create the right foundations for students, especially the K-12 segment, to onboard onto future technologies and prepare them fully for the digital and AI era. The partnership is a crucial step in building citizens and a workforce that is aware of AI and can work with AI.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Axis Bank appoints Puneet Sharma as CFO
- Axis Bank announced the appointment of Puneet Sharma as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
- Sharma will replace Jairam Sridharan, who has resigned as the Group Executive and Chief Financial Officer of the bank, with effect from March 5, 2020.
- Prior to joining Axis Bank, he spent 12 years at Tata Capital as a senior management functionary
About Axis Bank
- HQ- Mumbai
- CEO-Amitabh Chaudhry
- Tagline-Badhti Ka naam Zindagi
IndusInd Bank announces Sumant Kathpalia as new MD and CEO
- Private sector lender IndusInd Bank announced the appointment of Sumant Kathpalia as its new Managing Director and CEO.
- Kathpalia will take over from Romesh Sobti who is set to retire later next month.
- In November last year, the bank’s Nomination and Remuneration Committee and the Board had considered and submitted the name of a potential candidate for the role of MD and CEO, to the Reserve Bank of India, seeking approval for the appointment.
- Kathpalia has been with IndusInd Bank since 2008 and currently heads the consumer banking division at the private sector lender, and has been responsible for building the bank’s retail franchise.
About IndusInd Bank
- HQ- Pune
- MD and CEO- Sumant Kathpalia (From March 2020)
- Tagline- We Make You Feel Richer
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND ECONOMY
IndiGo, HDFC Bank tie-up to launch co-branded credit card with Mastercard
- IndiGo airlines has partnered with HDFC Bank to launch its first travel credit card.
- Called ‘Ka-ching’, it is powered by Mastercard and comes in two variants – 6E Rewards and 6E Rewards XL – and also offers complimentary air tickets.
- “Customers can avail complimentary air tickets worth between ₹1,500 and ₹3,000, depending on the variant,” HDFC Bank said in a statement, adding that the credit cards will allow customers to accrue accelerated 6E Rewards on IndiGo transactions.
About HDFC Bank
- HQ- Mumbai
- MD and CEO-Aditya Puri
- Tagline- We understand your world.
About IndiGo Airlines
- HQ- Gurugram
- MD and CEO- Rahul Bhatia
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Akademi award for English translation of ‘Kusumabale’
- Sahitya Akademi’s Translation Prize for 2019 in the category of translation into English has been awarded to Kannada novel Kusumabale by Devanur Mahadeva, rendered into English by Susan Daniel.
- The akademi announced a total of 23 awards in various Indian languages.
- Kusumabale, published in 1988, is a classic in Kannada literature. Written in a dialect typically spoken in Chamarajnagar district in Southern Karnataka, it combines prose and poetry, mythology and realism to weave a tapestry of Dalit life. The award carries a purse of ₹50,000 and a copper plaque. It will be presented later in the year.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Launched Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS)
- Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, launched the–Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal.
- The MIEWS Dashboard and Portal is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform for ‘real time monitoring’ of prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) and for simultaneously generating alerts for intervention under the terms of the Operation Greens(OG) scheme. The portal would disseminate all relevant information related to TOP crops such as Prices and Arrivals, Area, Yield and Production, Imports and Exports, Crop Calendars, Crop Agronomy, etc in an easy to use visual format.
- The initiative of MoFPI is expected to leverage the strengths of IT in real time monitoring and timely responding to any exigency on account of supply side irregularity or constraints in respect of these three crops.
Govt to host Artificial Intelligence Summit ‘RAISE 2020’ in April
- The government will host RAISE 2020 – an event focussed on artificial intelligence on April 11-12 in New Delhi.
- RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment) 2020 will be organised by the government in partnership with industry and academia.
- The summit will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and smart mobility, among other sectors.
- The first of its kind two-day summit- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’.
- Industry associations like FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM and NASSCOM, companies including Intel, AWS, KPMG, IBM, Oracle as well as AI startups participated in the consultation.
Enhancing Energy Cooperation in the BIMSTEC region held in Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Two Days Conference on Enhancing Energy Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region held at Bangladesh.
- The bloc of seven countries organised the conference in collaboration with the South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration (SARI/EI) of USAID.
- The Report “prospect of regional energy cooperation and cross-border energy trade in the BIMSTEC region”
- The report showed that the BIMSTEC region has 323,504 million tonnes(MT) of coal, 664 million tonnes of oil, 99 Trillion Cubic Feet(TCF) of gas, 11,346 MT of biomass, 328 Giga Watts(GW) of hydropower and 1,117 GW of renewable energy.
- India tops on all energy resources by having 319,020 MT of coal, 600 MT oil, 45.5 TCF gas, 4,150 MT biomass and 145 GW hydro and 1,000 GW renewable energy respectively.
- BIMSTEC is an International organization formed on June 6, 1997 with seven countries from South and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. It aims to promote regional cooperation for rapid economic development.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
Samsung Mobile is India’s most desired brand for the fourth time
- Samsung Mobile is the most desired brand, TRA Research (formerly known as Trust Advisory).
- This is the fourth time Samsung Mobile has been named the most desired brand. Previously, the brand has topped the list in 2013, 2015 and 2018.
- Samsung is followed by Apple iPhone, which is positioned second in the list.
- The diversified brand of Samsung which falls under the consumer electronics category features at third rank. Sony TV, which is a general entertainment channel, has entered the list of the top 10 brands for the first time. It has gained the fourth position. Maruti Suzuki, which is an automobile major is at the fifth position followed by Dell, the technology major at the sixth position.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 “VAJRA” is launched at Chennai
- Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping(I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers was the Chief Guest for the launching ceremony of 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ’VAJRA’ at Chennai .
- 6th OPV is getting launched in the sea for the first time and also it will strengthen the efforts Indian Coast Guard for securing over 7500 km vast coastline, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over 20 lakh sq kms and more than one lakh merchant ships transiting per year through Indian waters for global trade .
- OPV-6 is truly state of the art platform which will enhance the capabilities of Indian Coast Guard in terms of Operation, Surveillance, Search & Rescue.
- The ship would be utilized for day and night patrol/surveillance along with anti-terrorist/ anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Coastal Security.
- The OPV will have two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology, Sophisticated navigational and latest communication systems.
India’s annual defence exports to touch Rs 35,000 crore by 2024
- Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh projected that the annual Indian defence exports will touch Rs 35,000 crore by 2024 from the current level of Rs 17,000 crore.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the new Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Complex.
- India emerging as among the three major economies of the world by 2030 and the defence industries will have an important role to play.
- Especially defence public sector units, will have to play a major pro-active role in achieving the goal of ‘Make In India’ as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- By March 2019, the company’s turnover was₹19,705 crore, and the HAL gave shareholders 198 per cent healthy dividend
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company headquartered in Bengaluru, India. It is governed under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence.
- Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Former Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK MLA KPP Samy passes away
- Former Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK MLA KPP Samy passed away.
- The lawmaker, who represented the Thiruvottiyur state Assembly constituency.
- Samy was the DMK government’s Fisheries Minister between 2006 to 2011 when late DMK leader M Karunanidhi was Chief Minister.
Centenarian scholar, freedom fighter Sudhakar Chaturvedi passes away
- Veteran freedom fighter, Vedic scholar and centenarian Pundit Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who is said to be the oldest Indian, passed away at the age of 123 years.
- He has penned over 50 books in Sanskrit, Kannada, Hindi and English and has interpreted Vedas in 20 volumes.