Current Affairs Today 29th & 30th March 2020| Current Affairs News

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Daily Current Affairs PDF of 29th & 30th March 2020


Earth Hour 2020

  • Every year, theEarth Hour is celebrated worldwide on the last Saturday of the March month to show support for fight against climate change and commitment towards better planet.
  • This year falls on28 March 2020.
  • To mark the event, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is encouraging everyone to switch lights off from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
About World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Headquarter- Gland, Switzerland


Govt forms 11 empowered groups to suggest measures to healthcare, minimise hardships to people during lockdown

  • Government has constituted 11 different Empowered groups to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce the misery of people as quickly as possible post 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Each group has a senior representative from PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination. These groups have been set up under the Disaster Management Act. The groups have been empowered to formulate plans and to take all necessary steps for their time-bound implementation. The initiative is being viewed as pro-active step by the government to deal with multiple challenges which the outbreak of  COVID-19 has posed.
  • The Empowered Group on Medical Emergency and Management Plan will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V Paul,
  • While the Group on Availability of Hospitals, Disease Surveillance and Testing and Critical Care Training will work under the Chairmanship of Environment Secretary C K Mishra.
  • The Empowered Group on ensuring the availability of essential medical equipment, production Procurement, Import and Distribution will be headed by Pharmaceuticals Secretary P D Vaghela,
  • While  the Group on augmenting Human Resources and Capacity Building will function under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary Arun Panda.
  • Drinking Water Secretary Parameswaran Iyer will lead the Group on Facilitating Supply Chain and Logistics Management for availability of necessary items.
  • CEO NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant will head the Group on coordinating with the private sector. The Group on Economic and Welfare measures will function under Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty and Information and Broadcasting Secretary Ravi Mittal will head the Group on Information, Communication and Public Awareness.
  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY ) Secretary Ajay Sawhney look after the Group on Technology and Data Management, HRD Secretary Amit Khare will head the panel on Public Grievances while Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla will head the Empowered Group constituted on Strategic issues relating to Lockdown.

Modi govt launches PM CARES Fund, Donate to help India fight Covid-19

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of an assistance and emergency situation relief fund where people can contribute and help in the government’s fight against coronavirus.
  • The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund will go a long way in creating a healthier India, he stated.
  • People from all walks of life expressed their desire to donate to India’s war against COVID-19, he stated, adding the fund has been constituted respecting that spirit.
  • In India, like the rest of the world, the spread of coronavirus has been alarming and is posing severe health and economic ramifications for our country, it stated.
  • The Prime Minister’s Office has been receiving spontaneous and innumerable requests for donations to support the government in the wake of this emergency.
  • Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up, it stated.
  • People can visit to make contributions using credit and debit cards, UPI, net banking and RTGS or NEFT, it stated.

24×7 National Teleconsultation Centre to answer COVID-19 related queries

  • COVID-19, National Teleconsultation Centre has been launched by the Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan
  • A single IVRS number 91-9115444155 will connect to multiple telephone lines established in the Centre established in AIIMS, New Delhi.
  • The Centre is a telemedicine hub, through which , expert doctors from various clinical domains will be available 24×7 to answer questions related to COVID-19 all.
  • This is a multi-modal telecommunication hub through which two way audio-video and text communications can be exchanged from any part of the country as well as the from the world. The modes of communication will include simple mobile telephony as well as two way video communications using WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo.
  • Through this system multiple modes of communication will be possible using Skype, Whatsapp and others.
  • The centre would be manned by a mix of specialists to help in managing serious COVID patients.
  • This centre is also integrated with the National Medical College Network, NMCN. 1 National Medical College Network (NMCN) terminal has also been established for two way video conferencing with all the 50 Medical Colleges on the network.
  • Presently, there are four workstations, 1 NMCN terminal and 6 phone lines. COVID 19 National Teleconsultation Centre is reachable from anywhere in the world.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is an Indian government ministry charged with health policy in India. It is also responsible for all government programs relating to family planning in India. The Minister of Health and Family Welfare holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers.
  • Founded: 1976
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Officeholders: Harsh Vardhan (Minister), Faggan Singh Kulaste (Minister of State)

Union Labour Ministry notifies amendment in EPF Scheme to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance by EPF members in the event of outbreak of pandemic

  • Union Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued notification GSR 225(E) amending EPF Scheme 1952 to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance by EPF members/subscribers in the wake of COVID -19 pandemic in the country.
  • The notification permits withdrawal of upto the amount of basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or upto 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, in the event of outbreak of epidemic or pandemic.
  • COVID-19 has been declared pandemic by appropriate authorities for the entire country and therefore employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952 are eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance.
About EPFO:
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, is an organization tasked to assist the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund a statutory body formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
  • Founded: 4 March 1952
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Sunil Barthwal, Central Provident Fund Commissioner,


The US announce financial assistance of 174 million US Dollars to 64 countries including 2.9 million US Dollars to India

  • The United States has announced financial assistance of 174 million US Dollars to 64 countries including 9 million US Dollars to India to help fight the Corona virus pandemic. This is in addition to the 100 million US Dollars aid announced by the US in February.
  • The funding is for 64 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of the global pandemic.
  • The US State Department stated, it is providing 9 million US Dollars to help the Indian government prepare laboratory systems, activate case finding and event-based surveillance and support technical experts for response and preparedness and more.
  • In another development, President Trump signed the largest-ever financial stimulus package, worth 2 trillion US Dollars to tackle the economic distress caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill approving the package by voice vote following a three-hour debate.
About USA:
  • Capital: Washington, D.C.
  • President: Donald Trump
  • Currency :United States dollar (USD)

ADB to invest $100 million into NIIF’s Fund of Funds

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invest $100 million equivalent into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India’s Fund of Funds. With this investment the NIIF platform has now secured $700 million in commitments. Government of India and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are the other investors in the fund.
  • With this capital infusion, the FoF will be able to increase its support to India-focused PE fund managers at a time when their global fundraising prospects may be challenging in the short term.
  • NIIF Fund of Funds (FoF) was established in 2018 with the objective of creating a vehicle to provide India-focused private equity fund managers with a go-to institutional investor operating at scale and based in India.
  • The FoF invests into a variety of sectors and strategies through third-party managed funds. So far, it has made commitments to three funds aggregating to over ₹2,600 crores ( $350 million equivalent).
  • The three Funds are focused on a wide range of sectors, including green energy and climate; middle-income and affordable housing; and entrepreneur-driven mid-market growth companies operating across diversified sectors. Additionally, the managers of the three funds have successfully raised $1.1 billion equivalent alongside NIIF’s investments.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Membership: 68 countries
  • Founded: 19 December 1966

North Macedonia Officially Joins NATO

  • North Macedonia became NATO’s newest member with the presentation of its “instrument of accession” to the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C., NATO stated in a statement from its headquarters in Brussels.
  • North Macedonia was granted a protocol on accession to NATO membership in February 2019 after a 2017 agreement with Greece that changed the former Yugoslav republic’s name from Macedonia, resolving a decades-long dispute between Skopje and Athens.
  • Since then, all NATO-member parliaments have voted to ratify the country’s membership, and Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski on March 20 signed the final accession document for the country’s entry into the alliance.
  • North Macedonia is now part of the NATO family, a family of 30 nations and almost 1 billion people. A family based on the certainty that, no matter what challenges we face, we are all stronger and safer together, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated.
About NATO:
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach, Royal Air Force
  • Supreme Allied Commander Europe: General Tod D. Wolters, United States Air Force
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

North Korea ‘successfully’ tests ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher

  • The two short-range projectiles fired by North Korea were a test of a ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reports.
  • According to the North’s official newspaper, the test was carried out in order to “verify strategic and technical characteristics of a super-large multiple rocket launcher once again.”
  • According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), two projectiles were launched from North Korea’s eastern town of Wonsan in the direction of the Sea of Japan; they flew 230 kilometers (about 143 miles). The maximum altitude was 30 kilometers (18 miles).
About North  Korea :
  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • Supreme leader: Kim Jong-un
  • Currency: North Korean won


Merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 to come into force from April 1: RBI

  • Reserve Bank of India has stated that the merger of 10 state-run banks into four will come into force from April 1. The branches of merging banks will operate as of the banks in which these have been amalgamated.
  • The government on March 4 had notified the amalgamation schemes for 10 state owned banks into four as part of its consolidation plan to create bigger size stronger banks in the public sector.
  • As per the scheme, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged into Punjab National Bank; Syndicate Bank into Canara Bank; Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank; and Andhra and Corporation banks into Union Bank of India.
  • Under this, the branches of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will operate as branches of Punjab National Bank from April 1, and branches of Syndicate Bank as that of Canara Bank.
  • It informed that Allahabad Bank branches will operate as those of Indian Bank while the branches of Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will function as the branches of Union Bank of India from the beginning of next fiscal year 2020-21.
  • Customers, including depositors of merging banks will be treated as customers of the banks in which these banks have been merged with effect from April 1, 2020.

IDBI Bank offers uniform three-month moratorium to all borrowers

  • IDBI Bank has stated it will offer a uniform three-month moratorium on standard term loan repayments to all its borrowers.
  • Within 24 hours of an RBI announcement in this regard, the bank started sending out SMSes to borrowers informing them that it is “pleased to grant three moratorium on three instalments of your loan account up to May 31, 2020.”
  • Wherever the March 2020 instalment has already been paid by the borrower, the relief would be applicable for EMIs payable in April and May. The borrower is not required to make a separate request.
  • Interest shall continue to accrue on the outstanding portion of the loan during the moratorium period and will be added in the loan amount outstanding, which might result in a marginal increase in EMI. It is, however, not clear whether the moratorium is applicable to credit card dues or not.
  • To ease the EMI pressure on scores of borrowers amid the pandemic, the RBI permitted all commercial banks and NBFCs to grant a three-month moratorium on instalment payments on all term loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020.
  • If any borrower wishes to make an EMI payment during the moratorium period, it can be remitted to the loan account as pre-payment and the same will be adjusted against the principal amount of the loan. This will attract no pre-payment charge.
About IDBI:
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • CEO: Rakesh Sharma
  • Banking for All,”Aao sochein Bada”

IRDAI bans capital gearing treaties by insurers

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked insurers not to enter into any capital gearing treaties with immediate effect.
  • Capital gearing refers to the amount of debt a company has relative to its equity. Companies with high capital gearing will have a large amount of debt relative to their equity.
  • It has been observed that some of the insurers have entered into capital gearing treaties in various forms, including Quota Share Reinsurance Treaty. The Authority is of the view that such capital gearing treaties are of the nature of financial arrangements and not primarily a risk-transfer mechanism, Pravin Kutumbe, Member – F&I, IRDAI, stated in a communication to insurers.
  • Stating that the insurers had adopted these arrangements in order to improve the solvency ratio, the regulator stated: “No insurer should enter into any fresh capital gearing treaties.”
  • Those insurers who are having such treaties on their books should submit a board-approved action plan for phasing out the treaties along with time lines to the Authority on or before June 30, 2020, in such a manner that solvency norms as required are adhered to.
  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquarters: Hyderabad
  • Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia

ICICI Lombard, BharatPe launch COVID-19 insurance cover for shopkeepers

  • With shops selling essential goods and medicines open during the national lockdown, BharatPe and ICICI Lombard General Insurance have launched a special insurance scheme for shopkeepers.
  • This policy on a diagnosis of Covid-19 (+ve) will pay 100 per cent of the sum insured, irrespective of hospitalisation expenses, ICICI Lombard stated in a statement.
  • Called the Covid-19 Protection Insurance Cover, the premium starts at Rs 199 and provides a sum insured of Rs25,000. Value-added benefits such as Health Assistance and CHAT/Virtual assistance, tele-consultation and ambulance assistance are also a part of the offering. It provides coverage across the age group of 18-65 years.
  • The new product is a step forward in BharatPe’s endeavour in introducing industry-first initiatives for shopkeepers. It is also a ‘first of its kind’ sachet product by ICICI Lombard that will cover merchants, the release further stated.
  • Shopkeepers will get 100 per cent of the opted sum insured as a lumpsum in the event of the first diagnosis itself. The insurance is available on the BharatPe app and we hope to cover lakhs of our merchants digitally over next few days, stated Ashneer Grover, CEO and Co-Founder, BharatPe.
About Bharatpe:
  • BharatPe is a QR code-based payment app for offline retailers and businesses. It allows merchants to accept UPI payments for ‘FREE’ through the BharatPe QR. Through the app, merchants can sign up instantly and start receiving the funds immediately in their bank account.
  • Owened by: NPCI

SBI raises $100 million via green bonds

  • The country’s largest lender State Bank of India stated it has raised USD 100 million green bonds, the first such bond by any state-owned bank in this fiscal. The bonds were priced at 3M Libor + 80 basis points. The lender has already two climate bond initiative certified green bonds issuances, aggregating USD 700 million.
  • It is an extremely important transaction for the country especially in this critical situation. We believe this issuance will reassure confidence in the country’s strength in the international bond market, the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar stated in a statement.
  • The bank has adopted the green bond framework with an objective to create a positive impact on the environment and this transaction is yet another step as part of sustainability journey, he added.
  • The bonds will be issued through SBI’s London branch on March 31, 2020 and will be listed on Singapore SGX.
About SBI:
  • Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Tagline :Pure banking, nothing else” “With you- all the way” “A bank of the common man” “The banker to every indian


Uttar Pradesh govt to transfer Rs 611 crore in accounts of 27.15 lakh MNREGA labourers

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will transfer 611 crore rupees in the accounts of 15 lakh MNREGA labourers. The amount will be transferred electronically to help the labourers in the situation of Lock down due to Corona Virus.
  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed private enterprises and organisations to must give one month salary to their employees without any deduction.
  • State Government reiterated that nodal officers in 16 states of the country are helping the people of Uttar Pradesh in their respective areas and appealed everyone to remain wherever they are and follow the lock down.
  • Meanwhile, Gautam Buddh Nagar administration took over the JP sports city to convert it into the shelter home for the labourers.
About Uttar Pradesh:
  • Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • Capital: Lucknow

UP CM constitutes ‘Team-11’ to beat corona

  • UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set up “Team-11” comprising of as many inter-departmental committees to fight the coronavirus spread and its multi-lateral fallouts on multiple fronts ranging from ensuring medicare to victims to the supply of essentials and tackle long marches of jobless workers back home.
  • Each of the committees will be headed by a senior bureaucrat of the state while the the chief minister himself will be the head of the Team 11, an official statement stated.
  • The CM has constituted “Team- 11” to monitor the situation arising out of the coronavirus spread as per the specific responsibilities assigned to them, Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi stated.
  • He has formed 11 inter-departmental committees with over two dozen senior government officials working at crucial levels under the CM’s supervision, he added.

CII Karnataka sets up task force to work with state government

  • A high-level delegation of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Karnataka, led by Chairman Sandeep Singh and Vice Chairman Ramesh Ramudarai, met Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, TM Vijay Bhaskar, and assured the support of the industry to the government in its fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
  • CII has created a task force to work closely with the state government on the reduction in spread of Covid-19 and assured its support on the ground, in the form of donations of medicines, personal protective gear, diagnostic test kits, and financial support.
  • The state government, along with industry, have been proactively making all efforts to understand the requirements and the support needed.
  • A report on industry recommendations which outlines the impact on each sector and possible steps to address the challenges has been shared with the Karnataka Department of Industries & Commerce.
  • A meeting for e-commerce companies was conducted with the commissioner industries to understand their modus operandi and help them operate during these tough times.
  • CII has been extending help to the companies covered under exempted items to facilitate their movement across the state and has also set up a fund for MSMEs to tackle the situation arising out of the Covid-19 outbreak.
About Karnataka:
  • Chief minister: B. S. Yediyurappa
  • Governor: Vajubhai Vala
  • Capital : Bengaluru


Chennai Port acquires majority stake in Kamarajar Port

  • Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) acquired 67% stake of its subsidiary Kamarajar Port Ltd. (KPL) for ₹2,383 crore.
  • The KPL was promoted by the Central government holding about 67 per cent stake and Chennai Port holding the balance about 33 per cent.
  • However both the ports will function as separate entities while deriving benefits of synergies in terms of investments and operations.
  • Chennai Port will continue to focus on clean cargo like container, cars, liquid cargo, cruise and passenger traffic and on the utilisation of existing capacity to the maximum possible extent.
    On the other hand, KPL will plan and create additional capacity for bulk and all other types of cargo which will result in avoiding duplication of capacity creation.
  • In terms of capacity, Chennai Port has a capacity to handle 100 million tons of cargo while KPL has 67 million tons.
About Chennai Port Trust
  • Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Chairman– P. Raveendran
About Kamarajar Port Ltd (Ennore Port)
  • Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • CMD– Sunil Paliwal


BP Kanungo reappointed as RBI’s deputy governor

  • BP Kanungo was reappointed as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India.
  • His reappointment came after the Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved Kanungo’s term extension for a period of one year.
  • Kanungo’s tenure was to end on April 3.
  • MK Jain and Michael Patra also hold the position of deputy governor of RBI apart from
  • N S Vishwanathan, who is due to retire on July 3,2020, has resigned on March 5,2020.
  • Earlier this year, Michael Debabrata Patra was appointed as deputy governor of RBI
  • The RBI, headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, can have a maximum of four deputy governors.


Government of India launches coronavirus tracking app Corona Kavach

  • The Government of India has launched a coronavirus risk-tracking app called ‘Corona Kavach.’ Jointly developed by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the app uses a person’s location to assess whether they are in the high risk geographical zone or not. The app is now available for download in beta  for Android phones on the Google Play Store.
  • Corona Kavach is designed to provide information about COVID-19 and capture information. It will track the data of the users every one hour to alert them of whether they have crossed paths with any person who has tested positive for the infection.
  • The app uses colour codes to figure out whether the user has come in contact with a COVID-19 carrier or not. While one colour will identify a user who has never come in contact with an infected person, another will indicate if a user is in close proximity.
  • For this, the app will use the information of all the identified positive cases of coronavirus in the country so far.
  • Minister of Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology- Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Constituency- Patna Sahib, Bihar.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences- Harsh Vardhan
  • Constituency- Chandni Chowk, Delhi.


Critics’ Choice Film Awards: Ranveer Singh wins for Gully Boy, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan wins Best Actress for Soni

Critics’ Choice Film Awards for Best Film, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Director and Best Writing for releases in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati languages, too.


Best Actor Male Ranveer Singh (Gully Boy)
Best Actor Female Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Soni)
Best Director Zoya Akhtar (Gully Boy)
Best Film Gully Boy
Best Writing Anubhav Sinha and Gaurav Solanki (Article 15)


Best Actor Male Nani (Jersey)
Best Actor Female Samantha Akkineni (Oh! Baby)
Best Director Gowtam Tinnanuri (Jersey)
Best Film Mallesham
Best Writing Vivek Athreya (Brochevarevarura)


Best Actor Male Vijay Sethupathi (Super Deluxe)
Best Actor Female Amala Paul (Aadai)
Best Director Thiagararajan Kumararaja (Super Deluxe)
Best Film Super Deluxe
Best Writing Thiagararajan Kumararaja, Nalan Kumaraswamy, Mysskin, Neelan K Sekar

(Super Deluxe)


Best Actor Male Kaushik Ganguly (Kedara)
Best Actor Female Swastika Mukherjee (Kia and Cosmos)
Best Director Atanu Ghosh (Robibaar)
Best Film Kedara
Best Writing Atanu Ghosh (Robibaar)


Best Actor Male Jayesh More (Hellaro)
Best Actor Female Deeksha Joshi (Dhunki)
Best Director Abhishek Shah (Hellaro)
Best Film Hellaro
Best Writing Abhishek Shah, Prateek Gupta, Saumya Joshi (Hellaro)


Best Actor Male Rishi (Kavaludaari)
Best Actor Female B. Jayashree (Mookajjiya Kanasugalu)
Best Director Jayathirtha (Bell Bottom)
Best Film Bell Bottom
Best Writing Dayananda T K (Bell Bottom)


Best Actor Male Mammootty (Unda)
Best Actor Female Parvathy (Uyare)
Best Director Aashiq Abu (Virus)
Best Film Kumbalangi Nights
Best Writing Syam Pushkaran (Kumbalangi Nights)


Best Actor Male  Sandeep Kulkarni (Dombivali Return)
Best Actor Female  Mrinal Kulkarni (Welcome Home)
Best Director  Nipun Dharmadhikari (Dhappa)
Best Film  Dhappa
Best Writing  Sumitra Bhave (Welcome Home)

Books authored by Mirza Waheed and Santanu Das win The Hindu Prize 2019

  • The winners of The Hindu Prize for Fiction and Non-fiction for 2019 have been announced.
  • Tell Her Everything by Mirza Waheed and India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs by Santanu Das have been awarded the literary prize, in the fiction and non-fiction categories, respectively.
  • The Hindu Prize was instituted in 2010 to honour writers who have spent their lifetime mining the human spirit through their words and idea.


DRDO Develops Body Suit To Protect Doctors From COVID-19

  • A body suit developed by India’s premier research and development organisation DRDO can protect doctors and other health workers attending on Covid-19 patients.
  • The body suit developed earlier for medical and paramedical staff to manage and evacuate the casualties in the event of radiological emergencies has now been converted into a full body suit to stop contamination.
  • The suit is washable and has passed the ASTM International standards. The suit is widely tested by DRDO and other agencies and found suitable for the cause.
  • Each suit costs Rs 7,000. Frontier Protective Wear Pvt Ltd, Kolkata and Medikit Pvt Ltd, Mumbai are producing 10,000 suits per day.
  • The body suit is one of the four instruments developed by the DRDO and ready to be deployed in ‘War against Corona’.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation
  • Headquarters -New Delhi
  • Founded- 1958
  • Chairman- Dr G. Satheesh Reddy


Indian shot putter Navin Chikara suspended for four years for flunking dope test

  • The integrity unit of the global athletics body has suspended Indian shot putter Navin Chikara for four years for failing an out-of-competition dope test in 2018.
  • Chikara, 23, has been banned for using a prohibited substance and his suspension period is effective from July 27, 2018, the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
  • Chikara had won a silver at the 2018 Federation Cup apart from finishing runner-up at the inter-state championships in the same year.
  • In November 2018, a provisional suspension was imposed on Chikara, who later waived his right to have the B sample analysed.
  • On March 12, Chikara admitted to the “Anti-Doping Rule Violations and accepted the consequences proposed by the AIU (including a period of ineligibility of four years) by returning a signed Admission of Anti-Doping Rule Violation and Acceptance of Sanction Form.
  • World Athletics, formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation and International Association of Athletics Federations, is the international governing body for the sport of athletics, covering track and field, cross country running, road running, racewalking, mountain running and ultrarunning.
About International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF):
  • Headquarters: Monaco
  • President: Sebastian Coe
  • Founded: 17 July 1912, Stockholm, Sweden

Tokyo Olympics organisers eyeing July 2021 to start Games postponed due to Coronavirus

  • Tokyo Olympics organisers are eyeing next July as a start date for the postponed Games following the historic decision to delay the event due to the coronavirus
  • Japanese public broadcaster NHK, citing sources within the organising panel, stated that given the ongoing pandemic and need for preparation time, the most likely plan would be for the Games to begin on July 23, 2021
  • The move comes after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike raised the idea of moving the event to a less hot and humid time of year. The Tokyo 2020 team led by Yoshiro Mori is currently discussing possible dates with the International Olympic Committee, IOC
About International Olympic Committee:
  • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
  • President: Thomas Bach
  • Honorary President: Jacques Rogge
  • Director General: Christophe De Kepper


Tamil Folk Singer and Actress Paravai Muniyamma Passes Away

  • Tamil actress and folk singer Paravai Muniyammapassed away.
  • Muniyamma made her acting debut at the age of 66 with the 2003 film Dhool and featured in over 50 films. She was also awarded the Kalaimamani by the government of Tamil Nadu in 2009.

Tamil actor-doctor Sethuraman passes away

  • Young Tamil actor Sethuraman, who was also a practising dermatologist, passed away in Chennai after a cardiac arrest.
  • Sethuraman made his debut in Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya alongside Santhanam and Vishaka Singh. He also featured in films like Vaaliba Raja, 50/50 and Sakka Podu Podu Raja.

Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery passes away

  • The Reverend Doctor Joseph Echols Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and known as the “Dean” of the American Civil Rights Movement, passed away.
  • He was awarded the “Presidential Medal of Freedom”, the nation’s highest civilian honour, by former President Barack Obama in 2009.


  • High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister approves over 5,751 crore to eight States for calamity damage relief
  • DST launches nationwide exercise to map & boost Covid19 solutions with R&D, seed & scale up support
  • Donald Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus bill, largest ever US stimulus
  • IMF is Launching a Tracker of Policies Governments are Taking in Response to COVID-19
  • Loans and EMIs to be cheaper as SBI to cut repo rate by 75 basis points
  • Alphabet to donate $800 mn in response to coronavirus outbreak
  • Abbott launches 5-minute Covid-19 test for use almost anywhere
  • Mumbai Metro Line-IIIgets Rs 2,480 crore loan from JICA
  • Rajasthan government hikes dearness allowance for employees, pensioners to 17 per cent
  • Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh hospital tests serving robot
  • Yes Bank Board Of Directors Reconstituted; Administrator Prashant Kumar Named As MD & CEO
  • Shilpa Shetty Kundra partners with Fit India
  • ULA’s Atlas 5 launches AEHF-6 communications satellite in its first mission for U.S. Space Force
  • Facebook launches messenger chatbot to share authentic information on Covid-19
  • IIT Gandhinagar launches Project ‘Isaac’ to engage students in creative projects during Corona lockdown
  • In a first, India, France conduct joint patrols from Reunion Island
  • Indian Army launches ‘Operation Namaste’ to help govt fight COVID-19
  • Padma Vibhushan awardee Satish Gujral passes away
  • Chief of Brahma Kumaris Dadi Janki passes away
  • Former Union Minister & SP leader Beni Prasad Verma passes away


  • Earth Hour 2020- 28th march
  • Govt forms 11 empowered groups to suggest measures to healthcare, minimise hardships to people during lockdown
  • Modi govt launches PM CARES Fund, Donate to help India fight Covid-19
  • 24×7 National Teleconsultation Centre to answer COVID-19 related queries
  • Union Labour Ministry notifies amendment in EPF Scheme to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance by EPF members in the event of outbreak of pandemic
  • The US announce financial assistance of 174 million US Dollars to 64 countries including 9 million US Dollars to India
  • ADB to invest $100 million into NIIF’s Fund of Funds
  • North Macedonia Officially Joins NATO
  • North Korea ‘successfully’ tests ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher
  • Merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 to come into force from April 1: RBI
  • IDBI Bank offers uniform three-month moratorium to all borrowers
  • IRDAI bans capital gearing treaties by insurers
  • ICICI Lombard, BharatPe launch COVID-19 insurance cover for shopkeepers
  • SBI raises $100 million via green bonds
  • Uttar Pradesh govt to transfer Rs 611 crore in accounts of 15 lakh MNREGA labourers
  • UP CM constitutes ‘Team-11’ to beat corona
  • CII Karnataka sets up task force to work with state government
  • Chennai Port acquires majority stake in Kamarajar Port
  • BP Kanungo reappointed as RBI’s deputy governor
  • Government of India launches coronavirus tracking app Corona Kavach
  • Critics’ Choice Film Awards: Ranveer Singh wins for Gully Boy, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan wins Best Actress for Soni
  • Books authored by Mirza Waheed and Santanu Das win The Hindu Prize 2019
  • DRDO Develops Body Suit To Protect Doctors From COVID-19
  • Indian shot putter Navin Chikara suspended for four years for flunking dope test
  • Tokyo Olympics organisers eyeing July 2021 to start Games postponed due to Coronavirus
  • Tamil Folk Singer and Actress Paravai Muniyamma Passes Away
  • Tamil actor-doctor Sethuraman passes away
  • Civil Rights Icon Rev. Joseph Lowery passes away

Click Here to Attend 29th & 30th March 2020 Current Quiz

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