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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS
International Women’s Day
- International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March in many countries around the world.
- It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
- It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
|Theme 2019||“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Government to issue Rs. 20 coin for the first time
- The Finance Ministry has announced the roll out of a new Rs. 20 coin shaped like a “dodecagon”, a 12-edged polygon.
- The new coin will be heavier than all the existing coins at 8.54 grams.
- The coin will be two-toned with a 27-mm diameter, similar to Rs 10 coin. The outer ring will be 65% copper, 15% zinc and 20% nickel and the inner disc will be 75% copper, 20% zinc and 5% nickel
- The obverse side of the coin will bear Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar, on the reverse of the coin, the rupee symbol will be shown above the denominational value and there will be grains designed on the left periphery of the coin to depict the country’s agricultural dominance.
- The government is also releasing the new series of prototypes of coins of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5 and Rs 10. A new series of circulation coins, which are visually challenged friendly.
|Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs||Arun Jaitley|
|Constituency||Gujarat, Rajya Sabha|
Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched e-Dharti App
- Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri launched e-Dharti app where all the three modules- Conversion, Substitution and Mutation related to properties have been made online.
- The public can now submit their applications online by visiting the L&DO website and are not required to visit this office for submission of them and for follow up of their applications
- He also launched e-Dharti GeoPortal, through which the lessee of the property will be able to see the basic details of property along with map showing its location.
|Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs||Hardeep Singh Puri|
|Constituency||Uttar Pradesh Rajya Sabha|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
People in Japan temple unveiled a robot ‘Goddess’
- A 400-year-old Kyoto-based temple has unveiled a robotic avatar of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Kannon, in an attempt to keep the younger generation connected with Buddhism.
- The robot named ‘Mindar’, can join its hands and move its eyes and torso while delivering 25-minute-long sermons to worshippers. and can even deliver a 25-minute-long sermon to the worshippers.
|Japan President||Shinzo Abe|
WHO unveils sweeping reforms in drive towards triple billion targets
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the most wide-ranging reforms in the Organization’s history to modernize and strengthen the institution to play its role more effectively and efficiently as the world’s leading authority on public health.
- These include one billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage (UHC), one billion more people better protected from health emergencies and one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.
|World Health Organization Headquarters||Geneva, Switzerland|
|World Health Organization Director General||Tedros Adhanom|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Ausaf Sayeed appointed as new Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia
- Ausaf Sayeed has been appointed as next ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia
- Sayeed a 1989 batch Indian Foreign Service officer presently High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles
- He will succeed Ahmad Javed, who had been serving as envoy to Saudi Arabia since December 2015
UNDP appoints Padma Lakshmi as Goodwill Ambassador
- Indian-American television personality and food expert Padma Lakshmi has been appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its newest Goodwill Ambassador, supporting the agency’s fight against inequality and discrimination around the world.
- The announcement was made by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, on the eve of International Women’s Day
CURRENT AFFAIRS: CABINET APPROVALS
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the investment sanction for construction of 624 Mega watts Kiru Hydro Electric Project in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Approved the investment for 1320 Mega Watt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.
- Investment for 1320 Mega Watt Buxar thermal Power Project in Bihar was also approved.
- Approved proposal for promulgation of Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019
- The construction of a 3rd railway line between Narayangarh in West Bengal and Bhadrak in Odisha of 155 kilometres length. The total estimated cost of this project is 1866 crore rupees and will be completed by 2023-24.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has also approved additional funds to Sugar Mills amounting to 2790 crore rupees.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Home Minister inaugurated BOLD-QIT project in Assam
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam.
- It deals with the problem of border safeguarding in the areas where border fences can’t be constructed due to Brahmaputra River.
- This project, under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), will equip the unfenced areas along the riverine border with sensors, enabling the troops to take prompt action against intrusion.
|Minister of Home Affairs||Rajnath Singh|
|Assam Chief Minister||Sarbanandha Sonowal|
|Assam Governor||Jagdish Mukhi|
Odisha government announced financial assistance for craftsmen
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the scheme ‘Mukhyamantri Karigar Sahayata’ for financial assistance to craftsmen
- Craftsmen with over 10 years of experience and annual income below Rs. 1 lakh would become eligible to get an assistance of Rs. 800 a month. Those above 80 years of age, would get Rs 1,000 monthly allowance
|Odisha Chief Minister||Naveen Patnaik|
|Odisha Governor||Ganeshi Lal|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
United Bank, HDFC Life signed Bancassurance deal
- United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company
- United Bank has a strong presence in rural and semi-urban areas, with over 2,000 branches and offices, while HDFC Life is India’s largest non-bank-promoted private life insurer.
- This partnership, United Bank’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in life insurance products, distribution and customer service.
|United Bank of India Headquarters||Kolkata|
|United Bank of India Tagline||The Bank that begins with “U”|
|United Bank of India CEO||Ashok Kumar Pradhan|
NHA, IRDAI to set up working group for Ayushman Bharat implementation
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and National Health Agency (NHA) will set up a joint working group for better implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
- The joint working group, to be chaired by Dinesh Arora, Deputy CEO of NHA, will have 10 members from both the organisations.
- They will work together to standardise hospital rates and also reduce fraud
- NHA is the apex agency that looks after the implementation of PMJAY.
|Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India Headquarters||Hyderabad|
|Chairperson||Subhash Chandra Khuntia|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: EXERCISE
Aerial Exercise Red Flag 2019 Began in US
- A 12-day long advanced aerial combat training exercise Red Flag 2019 has started at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States.
- Red Flag is US Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise. It was launched in 1975.
- It is open to participant air forces from US, NATO and other allied countries. India has participated in it for two times in 2016 and 2008.
- It is scheduled from 3rd to 16th March 2019. It will see participation of air forces from US, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Netherlands, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
President to present Nari Shakti awards on International Women’s Day
- President Ram Nath Kovind will present the highest civilian honour for women in India, Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 in New Delhi
- The awards for 2018 will be presented by the president at a special ceremony on the occasion of International Women’s Day
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development confers the Nari Shakti Puraskar on women and institutions to recognise their relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare
- This year, around 1,000 nominations were received by the ministry and 44 were selected for the award
- This year, the Nari Shakti Puraskar has also been awarded to a One Stop Centre and to a state which has shown exceptional progress in improving child sex ratio at birth under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
|Minister of Women Welfare and Child Development||Maneka Gandhi|
Japan’s Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker Architecture Prize
- Arata Isozaki, prominent Japanese architect renowned for his versatility and transnational approach to design, has won his field’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
- The 2019 prize was announced by the jury of the Hyatt Foundation. Founded in 1979, the prize honors a living architect or architects each year whose work demonstrates talent and vision, as well as a contribution to humanity.
- The 87-year-old will receive his coveted award, which consists of $100,000 and a bronze medallion, in May at the Palace of Versailles in France
- He is the 8th Japanese to be honoured with this award
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
India offers world’s cheapest mobile data packs: UK report
- According to a new report Price comparison site Cable.co.uk, India is home to the cheapest mobile data plans in the world, with one gigabyte (1GB) of data costing an average of $0.26, compared to USD 6.66 in the UK.
- The cheapest mobile data in Western Europe was found in Finland with an average price of $1.16 for 1GB of data. Denmark, Monaco and Italy all offer packages below $2. There were 15 countries in Western Europe which had cheaper prices than the UK, Cable found in its study
- In Eastern Europe, Poland is the cheapest at $1.32 per GB, followed by Romania ($1.89) and Slovenia ($2.21).
- The most expensive place in the world to buy mobile data is Zimbabwe, where the average cost of 1GB is $75.20 – 289 times as much as in India.
- The US had one of the most expensive rates, with an average cost of $12.37 for the same amount of data. The global average came in at $8.53 for 1GB in the study, which compared mobile data pricing in 230 countries around the world
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
India signed loan agreement with World Bank Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project
- India signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for 96 Million US dollars for additional financing of Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project.
- The 96 million dollars loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a 5-year grace period and a final maturity of 15 years.
- The World Bank has been supporting the State Government since 2014 to restore housing and rural connectivity and to build the resilience of communities.
- The additional financing of 96 million dollars will further help in the reconstruction of bridges, road and river bank protection works, and in the construction of a training facility for the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)
|Uttarakhand Chief Minister||Trivendra Singh Rawat|
|Uttarakhand Governor||Baby Rani Maurya|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recognises Kudo International Federation India as National Sport Federation
- Kudo International Federation India (KIFI)has been provisionally recognised as National Sport Federation by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- The recognition shall be granted if it complies with the provisions of National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 and displays information on the website according to the ministerial guidelines.
- Kudo is an official Japanese Cultural Budō sport under the same category as Judo, Aikido and Kendo. Kudo is recognized by over 10 national Olympic committees and has over 50 member countries.
|Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports||Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore|
|Constituency||Jaipur Lok Sabha|