Activate the Subscription by Confirmation sent to your E-mail!!


Latest Current Affairs - March 2020

Month Type

  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that red panda species are two separate species. Earlier, both Himalayan and Chinese red Pandas were considered as red panda species. Yalu Zangbu river marks geographical boundary between the two species. Red Pandas are called “Living Fossils” as they are the only living member of the Ailuridae mammalian family.
    1. Yalu Zangbu river is upper stream of Brahmaputra river. It is longest river in Tibet.
  2. Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla launched Suposhit Maa Abhiyan in Kota (Rajasthan), aiming to create malnutrition-free India. Under it, over 1000 women are to be given food for 1 month, applicable to one pregnant woman per family.
  3. A new Explosive Detection device called RalDer-X launched during National Workshop on Explosive Detection in Pune.
    1. It can detect explosives that are in pure form and also those that are added with contaminants. It is also capable of detecting explosives at a distance.
    2. It can also detect several other elements that are non-explosive in nature, such as narcotics.
  4. March 1 is observed as Zero Discrimination Day Globally, being observed since 2014. 2020 Theme is Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls.
    1. Mar 1 is also observed as World Civil Defence Day.
  5. India secured a defence deal with Armenia, to supply 4 Swathi weapon locating radars. India has beaten competing bids from Russia and Poland for the deal, as a boost for Make in India Initiative. These radars can provide accurate location of enemy weapons within 50 km range.
  6. Government declared National Chambal Sanctuary as Eco-Sensitive Zone, which is home to Gangetic Dolphins and critically endangered Gharials. As an Eco Sensitive Zone, construction of resorts, hotels or other residential and industrial activities are prohibited.
  7. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (Ministry of Power) launched star rating programme for Light Commercial Air Conditioners (LCAC) and Deep Freezers, During its 19th foundation day event.
    1. Star Rating Programme was formulated by BEE under Energy Conservation Act 2001, with Around 24 appliances covered.
    2. Urja Dakshata Information Tool (UDIT) was also launched, as online platform that explains energy efficiency platform in India.
  8. Indian Air Force and Savitribai Phule Pune University signed academic collaboration by signing a MOU to establish a 'Chair of Excellence' at Department of Defence & Strategic Studies of University, named Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Chair of Excellence.
  9. GST revenue collected in February 2020 is  105366 crores (CGST 20569 crores, SGST 27348 crores, IGST 48503 crores and Cess 8947 crores).
  10. Researchers from Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology (Thiruvanthapuram) developed an innovative intracranial flow diverter stent  for treatment of aneurysms of blood  vessels of brain.
    1. Intracranial aneurysm is a localized ballooning, bulging or dilation of arteries in the brain caused by progressive weakening of the inner muscles of the wall of blood vessels.
    2. Chitra flow diverter is designed to have better grip on walls of arteries of complex shapes in order to reduce risk of migration of device. It is also a low cost solution as compared to existing ones.
  11. As per a study by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Black carbon concentration in North and Himalayan region increases by 400 times during summer, mainly due to agricultural burning and forest fire. This triggers speedier glacial melt because of light-absorbing nature of black carbon.
  12. United Nation Human Rights Commission moved to Supreme Court on matter of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), filing a case challenging CAA.
    1. CAA was passed in 2019 and amended Citizenship Act 1955. It seeks to give nationality to 6 religious communities (Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs) if they entered India before 31 December 2014. It does not include Muslims.
  13. Pekka Lundmark appointed President and CEO of Finnish Tech firm Nokia. He will Rajeev Suri for the post.
  14. Astronomers discovered biggest explosion seen in universe since Big Bang in Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, 390 million light-years from Earth by using X-Ray and radio telescopes. The Explosion is 5 times bigger than any explosion known so far. Explosive force caused a huge gap in plasma containing hot gases in galaxy cluster, located around Black Hole.
  15. Arunachal Pradesh Assembly went paperless with implementation of e-Vidhan, a project under Digital India programme. It will enables MLAs to access all Assembly related information Online.
  16. Indian Council of Agricultural Research signed MOU with Patanjali Bio Research Institute (Haridwar).  Under this, specific work plans will be developed to work on collaborative research programmes in areas sustainable agriculture development.
  17. Tripura Government and Airport Authority of India signed MOU for construction of 6 equipment hiring centers in Manu Block under Dhalai District of Tripura, as as part of AAI's Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.
  18. 2020 Mexico Open (Abierto Mexicano Telcel) -
    1. Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Spain). He defeated Taylor Fritz (United States)
    2. Women's Singles - Heather Watson (United Kingdom). She defeated Leylah Annie Fernandez (Canada)
    3. Men's Doubles - Łukasz Kubot (Poland) AND Marcelo Melo (Brazil)
    4. Women's Doubles - Desirae Krawczyk (United States) AND Giuliana Olmos (Mexico)
  19. Muhyiddin Yassin appointed as new Prime Minister of Malaysia. He replaced Mahathir Mohammad who had resigned recently. At 94 years of age, he was World’s Oldest govt leader.
  20. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared victory in country's third general election in less than a year.
  21. According to 1st  NCAER Land Records and Services Index by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) -
    1. Madhya Pradesh (MP)  named best performing state in terms of digitising land records, followed by Odisha and Maharashtra.
    2. UT of Ladakh ranked at bottom.
  22. As per Worldline India report Wordline India Digital Payments 2019 -
    1. Bengaluru (Karnataka) accounted for highest number of digital transactions in India in 2019, followed by Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
    2. Among states, Maharashtra topped with highest number of digital transactions, followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi.
    3. The most preferred mode of payment was United Payments Interface (UPI).
  23. A tiny near-Earth asteroid and temporary satellite of Earth named 2020 CD3, has been discovered, as part of the Mount Lemmon Survey or Catalina Sky Survey. It is the second temporary satellite of Earth discovered, after 2006 RH120, which was discovered in 2006.
    1. 2020 CD3 may have been captured by Earth around 2016–2017, and is expected to remain in a geocentric orbit around Earth until April 2020.
    2. Also, Astronomy student from University of British Columbia, Michelle Kunimoto discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable Earth-sized rocky body that may have liquid water, by combing data collected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.
      1. Finding also includes planet named ‘KIC-7340288 b’ which is 1000 light years away from eart and is one and a half times size of Earth and is in habitable zone of its star.
  24. President Ram Nath Kovind approved resuming delimitation exercise in northeastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland, after improvement in security situation in these states and reduction in insurgency incidents.
    1. Delimitation Commission was set up under Delimitation Act 2002,to readjust division of each state / UT into territorial constituencies for purpose of elections on basis of census figures of 2001.
    2. Delimitation Commission completed exercise on November 26, 2008 for all states, except in these four northeastern states due to threat to peace and public order.
    3. Now, The same has been approved for 4 mentioned NE states.
  25. 1st Khelo India University Games held at KIIT University (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University) in Bhubaneswar (Odisha). Official mascots were ‘Jay and Bijay’ -
    1. Panjab University named winner of  with 45 medals, followed by Savitribai Phule Pune University and Punjabi University.
  26. Mar 3 is observed as UN World Wildlife Day. 2020 Theme is Sustaining all Life on Earth. It was proclaimed in 1973.
    1. Mar 3 is also observed as World Hearing Day. 2020 theme is Hearing for life, don’t let hearing loss limit you.
    2. On occasion of World Wildlife Day 2020 (Mar 3), European Commission launched in Monaco a new global coalition for biodiversity, calling for stronger mobilisation in raising awareness about need to protect biodiversity. Also, 2020 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) will be held in Kunming (China) in October 2020.
  27. 70th  Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) 2020  held in Berlin (Germany).
    1. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated the Indian Pavilion at Berlinale.
    2. Notable Winners -
      1. S.No Award Name Won by
        1 Golden Bear for Best Film There Is No Evil by Mohammad Rasoulof
        2 Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Never Rarely Sometimes Always  by Eliza Hittman
        3 Silver Bear for Best Director Hong Sang Soo for The Woman Who Ran
        4 Silver Bear for Best Actress Paula Beer for Undine
        5 Silver Bear for Best Actor Elio Germano for “Hidden Away”
        6 Berlinale Documentary Award Irradiés by Rithy Panh
        7 Golden Bear for Best Short Film “T” by Keisha Rae Witherspoon
        8 Heiner Carow Prize Garagenvolk by Natalija Yefimkina
        9 Caligari Film Prize Victoria by Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer and Isabelle Tollenaere
  28. Swarajya Awards 2020 conferred at 6th India Ideas Conclave in Gujarat, Instituted by India Foundation & Indic Academy-
    Awardee Category Field
    Sarbananda Sonowal Dr S P Mukherjee Award Politics
    K Parasaran Sree Narayana Guru Award Social Work
    Bharatbala Ustad Bismillah Khan Award Culture
    N K Singh Dr B R Shenoy Award  Economics
  29. Indian Science Congress association  announced that Pune will host annual session of 108th Indian Science Congress in January 2021,with theme Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment. Vijay Laxmi Saxena is elected general president of Indian Science Congress 2020-21.
  30. State Bank of India (SBI) switched to Cash Budget Based Assessment from Projected Balance Sheet method of Fund Based Working Capital limits for assessment of working capital requirement for corporates or large advances.
    1. CBBA of limits has been initiated for assessment of FBWC limits for units with total FBWC exposure of over 50 crores.
  31. Paytm subsidiary Paytm Insurance Broking received brokerage licence from Insurance Regulatory and Authority of India (IRDAI), enabling it to offer insurance in various categories.
  32. President Ram Nath Kovind Conferred 61st Lalit Kala Akademi Awards on 15 artists -
    1. Anoop Kumar Manzukhi Gopi
    2. David Malakar
    3. Devendra Kumar Khare
    4. Dinesh Pandya
    5. Faruque Ahmed Halder
    6. Hari Ram Kumbhawat
    7. Keshari Nandan Prasad
    8. Mohan Kumar T
    9. Ratan Krishna Saha
    10. Sagar Vasant Kamble
    11. Satwinder Kaur
    12. Sunil Thiruvayur
    13. Tejaswi Narayan Sonawane
    14. Yashpal Singh
    15. Yashwant Singh
  33. Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami launched 5 year Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme (TNHSRP), with cost 2857 crores. It will be implemented with World Bank fund, as first Program-for-Results (PforR) project for World Bank in India.
    1. Aim is To strengthen management of non-communicable diseases (NCD) & injuries, improve quality of care & reduce inequities in reproductive and child health services in State.
  34. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 4, 2020) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Côte d’lvoire - Health
    2. General -
      1. Approved Foreign Investment in Air India Ltd by NRIs, who are Indian Nationals, upto to 100% under automatic route. Earlier, only 49% was available for sale to NRIs in Air India.
      2. Approved mega consolidation of 10 Public Sector Banks, w.e.f Apr 01, 2020 -
        1. Amalgamation of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India into Punjab National Bank.  It will create 2nd largest PSB with business of 17.95 lakh crores.
        2. Amalgamation of Syndicate Bank into Canara Bank. It will create 4th largest PSB with business of 15.20 lakh crores.
        3. Amalgamation of Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank into Union Bank of India. It will create 5th largest PSB with business of 14.59 lakh crores.
        4. Amalgamation of Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank. It will create 7th largest PSB with business of 8.08 lakh crores.
        5. It would result in creation of 7 large PSBs with scale and national reach with each amalgamated entity having a business of over Rupees 8 lakh crores.
      3. Approved Companies (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 to amend Companies Act 2013 (72 Changes). It would remove criminality under the Act in case of defaults which can be determined objectively and which, otherwise, lack element of fraud or do not involve larger public interest.
        1. It would enable listing of Indian companies on stock exchanges in foreign jurisdictions, to increase competitiveness of Indian companies in terms of access to capital, broader investor base and better valuations.
        2. Amendment aims to recategorize 23 offences and omit 7 compoundable offences. Under the amendment, companies with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation of less than Rs 50 lakhs need not constitute a CSR committee.
        3. Section 129 A introduced, that will file results of unlisted companies (under the act) on a periodic basis. This is to be done in additional to annual filing.
  35. Uttar Pradesh government announced paying INR 900 per month to farmers willing to keep stray cattle. Population of stray cattle had increased as state Government had banned illegal animal slaughtering in state. Farmers began protesting this as stray cattle were destroying their fields.
  36. On occasion of World Wildlife Day 2020 (Mar 3), European Commission launched in Monaco a new global coalition for biodiversity, calling for stronger mobilisation in raising awareness about need to protect biodiversity. Also, 2020 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) will be held in Kunming (China) in October 2020.
  37. Ministry of Tribal Affairs constituted a committee under NC Saxena, former member of Planning Commission of India. Committee will examine and recommend Community Forest Resources (CFR) Guidelines, under Forest Rights Act 2006.
  38. Europen Nation Luxembourg become first country to make all forms of public transport free. It is a dual social measure in the country, funded by tax payers.
  39. Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) signed MOU with IIT Delhi, Quality Council of India (QCI) and Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA). It aims to increase agricultural export potential of country.
  40. Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration asked administrators of temples to obtain BHOG certificate from FSSAI, which was launched in 2018.
    1. BHOG (Blissful Hygiene Offering to God), certificates, issued by FSSAI, ensure quality of food offered to devotees and deities as well.
  41. Department of Science of Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology) organized an International Conference on Nano-Science and Nano Technology (ICONSAT) at Kolkata.
  42. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs signed MoU with Amazon for e marketing of products made by Self Help Groups (SHGs) across country in urban areas, With an underlying narrative of women empowerment.
  43. Minister of Women & Child Development Zubin Irani released book titled Chronicles of Change Champions, as compilation of 25 innovative initiatives taken under Prime Minister’s flagship scheme of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP).
  44. Mar 4 is observed as National Security / Safety Day in India, as a tribute to all security forces of country. National Safety Council was set up on 4 March 1966.
  45. RBI imposed a month-long moratorium on Troubled Yes Bank, also imposinf withdrawal restrictions of 50000 by customers (except upto 5 lakh allowed in case of medical emergencies and higher education fees). RBI selected SBI to inject capital into Yes Bank.
    1. Moratorium is a temporary suspension of an activity or business. Moratorium has been imposed on bank by Govt under recommendation of RBI.
    2. RBI also superseded (replaced) board of YES bank, and appointed Former SBI Executive SBI Prashant Kumar as Yes Bank administrator for 30 days.
  46. Gene Editing Tool CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) used for first time to treat blindness, at Oregon University (USA).
    1. CRISPR-Cas is used to edit genes in an organism. It is an enzyme. Cas is CRISPR Associated protein.
    2. CRISPR based tool allows to target genomic location. After identifying the target, it adds, removes or alters that particular DNA sequence.
  47. Scientists at International Advanced Research for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) Hyderabad developed Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), in power range of 1 to 20 kiloWatt (kW).
    1. PEMFC have better operational capability at low-temperatures with applications in decentralised power generation systems.
    2. ARCI will now set up a PEMFC system up to 10 kW capacity at Tamil Nadu State Emergency Operation Centre (TN SEOC) to operate disaster management systems.
  48. Government introduced scheme namely LLP Settlement Scheme 2020, by allowing Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) a One-time condonation of delay in filing statutorily required documents with Registrar.
    1. Due to applicability of additional fee on late filing, a large number of (LLPs) have remained non-compliant, mainly on account of their inability to pay late fees for the cumulative period of delay.
    2. Scheme shall come into force on the 16th March, 2020 and shall remain in force up to 13th June, 2020.
    3. It would be applicable to a LLP for filing overdue documents, which were due for filing till 31st October, 2019 on a payment of a additional fee of 10 per day for period of delay (up to 5,000 as additional fee per document).
  49. DRDO's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), in collaboration with IIT Delhi has developed a female-specific Full Body Protector named Prabala, to safeguard Female troops deployed in riot control actions.
  50. Researchers at Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) Guwahati have developed a solution to reduce use of chemicals in tea plantations. 
    1. Researchers have found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera, Eurya to find potent plant growth-promoting strains. 
    2. Application of endophytic Actinobacteria could reduce chemical inputs in Tea plantation.
  51. Researchers from Raman Research Institute (under Department of Science & Technology) have devised a new test for fairness of quantum coin or ‘qubit’ (the basic unit of information in a quantum computer) using entanglement theory.
    1. This is a significant contribution to quantum state discrimination, an essential aspect of quantum information science which is expected to influence quantum sensing.
    2. The new test uses entanglement to test the fairness of the quantum coin. Entanglement is a special type of correlation that exists in quantum world with no classical counterpart.
  52. Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).. Earlier in Feb 2020, Cabinet Approved Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) [SBM (G)] till 2024-25, which will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM). It will be implemented in a mission mode with a total outlay of 1,40,881 crores.
    1. Under This, incentive of 12000 for construction of Individual Household Toilet (IHHL) to newly emerging eligible households as per existing norms will continue.
    2. Additionally, assistance to Gram Panchayats for construction of Community Managed Sanitary Complex (CMSC) at village level has been increased from 2 to 3 lakh per CMSC.
    3. Fund sharing between Centre and States will be 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K; 60:40 for other States; and 100:0 for other Union Territories. 
    4. Background -
      1. Rural sanitation coverage at the time of launch of SBM (G) on 02-10-2014 was 38.7%.  More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission.
  53. Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed Sunil Joshi as new Chief Selector of Indian Cricket Team.
  54. Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat announced Gairsain as summer capital of Uttarakhand. Dehradun will remain Winter Capital.
  55. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named its Mars rover Perseverance, scheduled in July 2020. Alexander Mather , a seventh-grade student, had recommended this name.
    1. NASA’s Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ will look for signs of past microbial life on Mars. It weighs about 2300 pounds (approx 1043 kg).
  56. Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as new Finance Secretary of India, succeeding Rajiv Kumar.
  57. Assam based Environmental activist Jadav Payeng (popularly called Forest Man) is named winner of 128th Commonwealth Points of Light Award, conferred by British Queen Elizabeth II.
    1. Payeng has transformed a treeless sandbar along the Brahmaputra river into a 1,360-acre vibrant wildlife haven.
    2. Points of Light Award recognises people across 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
  58. Ivan Janša (Janez Janša) has been appointed as New Prime minister of Slovenia.
  59. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) launched a mobile application for lodging investor grievances, called Sebi SCORES, to improve ease of doing business so that investors can conveniently lodge their grievances in Sebi Complaints Redress System (SCORES).
  60. 4th Global Ayurveda Festival will be held at Kochi (Kerala) in May 2020, with theme Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India’s credibility. It will be organised by Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), as largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world.
  61. As per report by US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI) -
    1. India has 3rd highest trade-related illicit financial flow among over 135 countries, with USD 83.5 billion escaping government's tax net owing to trade-based money laundering tactics.
    2. GFI classifies illicit flows funds as illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilised across an international border.
    3. 5 countries with largest identified value gaps - China (USD 457.7 billion), Mexico (USD 85.3 billion), India (USD 83.5 billion), Russia (USD 74.8 billion) and Poland (USD 66.3 billion).
  62. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India completed acquisition of Bhander Power Plant in Hazira (Gujarat) from Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company.
  63. Employees' Provident Fund Organization has cut interest rate on deposits to 8.5% for 2019-20, down from 8.65 percent last year (2018-19). EPFO has approx 6 crore subscribers.
  64. Mumbai will host International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session in 2023, to encourage and support National Olympic Committee of India and all National Federations to promote and strengthen Olympic sport in India.
  65. Tech Firms Microsoft and Accenture partnered to help deepen reach of entrepreneurs and start-ups focused on social impact and sustainability. Joint initiative will provide hands-on support and technologies to social enterprises.
  66. Mizoram festival Chapchar Kut celebrated across state, regarded as most popular spring festival to state.
  67. 19th century Sikh Empire ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been named Greatest Leader of All Time, in a poll conducted by BBC World Histories Magazine.
  68. Supreme Court lifted 2018 RBI ban on trading in virtual currencies, as a relief for traders in this sector. SC Validated plea from Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) challenging RBI ban.
  69. TIME Magazine named India’s former pm Indira Gandhi and freedom fighter Amrit Kaur among 100 greatest women of year. TIME has created 100 coves for 100 women from 1920 to 2020.
    1. TIME named Amrit Kaur as women of the year for 1947 and Indira Gandhi for 1976.
  70. Government approved airlines companies operating in India to provide in-flight wi-fi services to its passengers upon permission from pilot. However, while using Wi-Fi, passengers’ gadgets must be on flight mode. Vistara will be first airline to use the same.
  71. National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved acquisition of debt-ridden Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) by Navratna PSU NBCC (India) Limited (formerly National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited).
    1. Tribunal also ordered that 750 crores are to be deposited by Jayaprakash Associates (parent of Jaypee Infratech).
    2. NBCC will complete construction of over 20,000 unfinished flats of Jaypee Infratech.
  72. National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Limited & i-TIC foundation (Technology Business Incubator of IIT Hyderabad), signed an agreement to support start-ups through a joint incubation program through NMDC Innovation & Incubation Centre (NICE), to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in country.
  73. Irish Architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are named as winners of Pritzker Architecture prize 2020. Awardees co-founded Grafton Architects in 1978 at dublin.
    1. It is an annual award sponsored by Hyatt foundation, consisting USD 100000 and a bronze medallion.
    2. It is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” & “the profession’s highest honor.”
  74. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2020 by Subject -
    1. In engineering and technology  -
      1. IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi ranked 44th and 47th respectively. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is at top.
    2. No Indian institutes are get placed among 100 in Other 4 categories - Natural Science, Life Sciences and Medicine, Social Sciences and Management, Arts and Humanities categories.
  75. Mar 7 is observed as Jan Aushadi Diwas, to commemorate achievements of Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadi Pariyojana. Mar 1 - 7 is also observed as Jan Aushadhi Week.
  76. India Smart Utility Week 2020 Held in New Delhi. Key Highlights - '
    1. India-European Union Flagship Call on Integrated Local Energy Systems announced at ISUW 2020. It will help strengthen cooperation in energy research and innovation, mainly in renewable energy and its integration in energy system.
      1. This Indo-EU flagship call is in line with Mission Innovation (MI), a global initiative of 24 countries and European Commission, committed to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation, to make clean energy widely affordable.
    2. Sweden and India announced India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme, with commitment of 2.6 Million USD (Approx 18 Crore) from India and Sweden each.
  77. UN Development Programme (UNDP) released Gender Social Norms Index, which measures social beliefs that obstruct Gender Equality. Report stated that gender disparity still exists in every country.  Globally, only 24% of parliamentary seats are held by women.
    1. Top 3 Nations in terms of Bias Against Women - Pakistan (1), Qatar and Nigeria (2), Zimbabwe (3)
    2. Also, A UN Global Compact study stated that female labour participation in India has decreased from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020. Out of 153 countries surveyed, India is only country where economic gender gap is greater than political gap. Study suggests that corporate policies and public policies in India should ensure effective solutions.
  78. India joined Indian Ocean Commission as 5th observer, other four observers being Malta, China, European Union and OIF (International Organization of La Francophonie). It will help India in expanding its plans in Western Indian Ocean,which strategically connects South Eastern Coast of Africa.
    1. Indian Ocean Commission links African Indian Ocean nations - Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles. It was created in 1982, with secretariat in Mauritius.
  79. Ghojadanga (West Bengal) and Agartala (Tripura) are designated as land immigration check posts, under Passport rules 1950, on Indo-Bangladesh border.
  80. Comptroller and Auditor General's report for 2017-18, stated that between 2014 and 2016, 40% of environmental crimes in India were from Rajasthan. Wildlife Crime Control units were not established in the state.
    1. Environmental crimes registered in country were over 15000, and those registered in Rajasthan were over 6000.
  81. A dedicated monitoring opened under Mission Bhagiratha to invite grievances and issues of supply of drinking water, to address water scarcity during summer.
    1. Mission Bhagiratha is a safe drinking water project launched in Telangana, to provide drinking water to every village and city household. It will supply clean drinking water from the rivers Krishna and Godavari.
    2. Though the mission is named “Bhagirathi”, it does not Bhagirathi river. River Bhagirathi flows through Uttarkhand, not Telangana.
  82. ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup (Australia) -
    1. Australia won its 5th Women's T20 World cup title, defeating India in Final. 10 Teams had participated.
    2. Australia's Beth Mooney named player of the tournament, who also scored most runs.
  83. Mar 8 is observed as International Women's Day. 2020 Theme is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. United Nations began celebrating the day in 1977.
    1. Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar announced that sanitary napkin disposal bags are to be made mandatory from 2021. Sanitary napkin manufacturers will have to supply a biodegradable bag along with every napkin from January 2021.
    2. Govt. launched a new Helpline 011-26565285, for use of women students / researchers / entrepreneurs to get their queries answered related to programs of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
    3. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat released a study by UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on impact of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) on rural women. It stated that increased access to household toilets has led to improvement in Suvidha, Suraksha and Swabhimaan of women in rural India.
    4. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Nari Shakti Puraskar to Awardees, instituted by Ministry of Women and Child Development -
      1. Padala Bhudevi (Andhra Pradesh)
      2. Bina Devi (Bihar)
      3. Arifa Jan (J& K)
      4. Chami Murmu (Jharkhand)
      5. Nilza Wangmo (Ladakh)
      6. Rashmi Urdhwardeshe (Maharashtra)
      7. Mann Kaur (Punjab). At 103 years age, she is among oldest women athletes of India.
      8. Kalavati Devi (Uttar Pradesh)
      9. Tashi and Nungshi Malik (Uttrakhand) (Noted mountaineers)
      10. Kaushiki Chakroborty (West Bengal) - Noted vocalist.
      11. Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawanna Kanth, Mohana Singh Jitarwal - Indian Air Force’s first women fighter pilots
      12. Bhageerathi Amma and Karthyayini Amma (Kerala)
    5. NITI Aayog organized Fourth Edition of the Women Transforming India Award, honoring 16 awardees.
    6. Indo-U.S. Fellowship for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (WISTEMM)”program of Department of Science and Technology(DST) in association with Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF) provides international exposure to several women scientists.
    7. Maldives' Parliament introduced a motion to launch an inquiry into systemic gender discrimination, seeking to identify policies, laws and systems that are detrimental to women.
    8. Cab aggregator Uber launched a diversity and inclusion sponsorship programme for women in India.
    9. CRPF instituted a special Shakti Award', to be annually given to a chosen personnel who works for empowerment of women. Award will carry a reward of Rs 1 lakh.
    10. Odisha government approved a separate Mission Shakti department that would exclusively work for around 70 lakh rural women associated with nearly six lakh women self-help groups (SHGs).
    11. University of Ranchi launched its own Community Radio Station named as RADIO KHANCHI 90.4 FM with slogan Aap Sabka Radio.
  84. A Delimitation Commission formed under former SC judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, for states of J&K, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland.
    1. Delimitation for Jammu and Kashmir is to be carried out according to Jammu and Kashmir reorganization act. Previous delimitation for Jammu and Kashmir was done in 1995.
    2. Delimitation commission has been formed under Section 3 of Delimitation Act 2002. So far, 4 such delimitation commissions have been constituted - in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002.
    3. Delimitation is process of fixing boundaries of constituency. Delimitation was suspended between 1976 and 2001, because govt was implementing policy of family planning in a full-fledged way during this period.
  85. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will set up logistics bases in Vietnam,  Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. This is to entice them towards buying India’s military helicopters and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
  86. Times of India (TOI) Sports Awards 2019 -
    1. S. No. Award Award Winner
      1 Sports person of the Year P.V. Sindhu (Badminton)
      2 Cricketer of the year Rohit Sharma
      3 Team of the year Indian men’s Hockey Team
      4 Coach of the year Jaspal Rana (Shooting)
      5 Youth Icon of the year Vijendra Singh (Boxer)
      6 Lifetime Achievement Bhaichung Bhutia (Football)
      7 Icon of the year Balbir Singh (Hockey)
  87. Reliance Communicationss presented to National Company Law Tribunal a resolution plan approved by RCOM creditors, under insolvency and bankruptcy code.
    1. Plan entails realisation of around Rs 23,000 crore from sale of RCom assets and clawback of money paid to some of lenders.
    2. Reliance Jio will get tower and fibre assets of Reliance Infratel Ltd for Rs 4,700 crore, UV Asset Reconstruction Co Ltd (UVARC) will get assets of RCom and Reliance Telecom (spectrum) for Rs 14,000 crores.
    3. Under the plan, 38 lenders of RCom can recover over 70 per cent of their outstanding of Rs 33,000 crore secured debt.
  88. Tamil Nadu topped states in terms of number of participants in Poshan Abhiyan of Govt.
    1. Government's flagship programme Poshan Abhiyan (Prime Minister's Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) works for improving nutritional status of Indian citizens.
  89. Ukraine's parliament appointed Denys Shmygal as new prime minister, after his predecessor Oleksiy Honcharuk resigned.
  90. 5th edition of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit 2020 will held in Sri Lanka in September 2020. Sri Lanka will lead science, technology, and innovation sector in BIMSTEC.
    1. Sri Lanka is Chair of BIMSTEC between 2018 and 2020 and it will hand over the chairmanship to Thailand by end of 2020.
  91. BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) topped list of top 500 Global Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), for 5th consecutive year. List is released by Geneva-based organization NGO Adviser.
    1. BRAC  was found in 1972 by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed to facilitate the returning war refugees with small-scale relief and rehabilitation project. Currently, It has presence in 11 countries of Asia and Africa, working in various fields including poverty alleviation.
  92. Indian Coast Guard conducted 9th edition of national level search and rescue exercise ‘SAREX-2020’ based on theme Harmonization of Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue (HAMSAR), in Goa.
  93. Madhya Pradesh Govt approved forming trust under Chairmanship of CM Kamal Nath for project of constructing Ram Van Gaman Path project, a route taken by Lord Ram during his 14-years of life in forest (Chitrakoot to Amarkantak).
  94. RBI issued a draft scheme for reconstruction of Troubled Yes Bank, which was put under Moratorium, called Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020 -
    1. RBI did so by exercising its powers under sub-section (4) of section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act 1949.
    2. State Bank of India (SBI) is willing to invest in Yes Bank and also to participate in its reconstruction scheme. SBI can invest up to 49% stake for nearly Rs 2,450 crores. RBI plans to alter the authorised capital for reconstituted bank to 5000 crores. Share price must not be under INR 10.
    3. The Investor bank shall not reduce its holding below 26% before completion of three years from the date of infusion of the capital.
  95. IIT Madras Researchers developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered drone that can counter Rogue Drones (Spy Drones), helping law enforcement agencies secure airspace over critical civilian and military installations from surveillance by rogue drones.
  96. Singapore’s Daren Tang elected as Director General of World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO), succeeding Australia’s Francis Gurry.
    1. WIPO is one of 15 specialized agencies of United Nations (UN). List -
      1. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
      2. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
      3. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
      4. International Labour Organization (ILO)
      5. International Maritime Organization (IMO)
      6. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      7. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
      8. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
      9. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
      10. Universal Postal Union (UPU)
      11. World Bank Group
        1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
        2. International Finance Corporation (IFC)
        3. International Development Association (IDA)
      12. World Health Organization (WHO)
      13. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
      14. World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
      15. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO or WTO)
    2. WIPO was created in 1967, headquartered at Geneva (Switzerland).
  97. As per United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report A New Era for Girls: Taking stock on 25 years of progress -
    1. Girls still face violence and discrimination even after 25 years of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Beijing Declaration was aimed at advancing women’s and girls’ rights.
    2. In 2016, females accounted for 70% of detected trafficking victims globally, mostly involving sexual exploitation.
  98. Government reconstituted National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR), with Home Minister Amit Shah as chairperson. NPDRR will review progress in field of disaster management and advise on coordination between central and state governments.
  99. Govt. approved proposals of Information technology (IT) major TCS  and Real Estate Major DLF Limited, to establish a special economic zones (SEZs) for IT sector in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Haryana respectively.
    1. TCS proposed to establish an IT/ITeS SEZ in Noida (Uttar Pradesh), over 19.9 hectare at a cost of 2433 crores.
    2. DLF proposed to establish 2 SEZs in Haryana with investments of 794 crores and 761 crores.
    3. Government has so far cleared 417 such zones in India, with 238 active as of now.
  100. Ford India MD Anurag Mehrotra is appointed as CEO for New joint venture formed by Mahindra and Ford. This JV will sell Ford branded cars in India and other emerging markets. Mahindra will own controlling stakes of 51 %, while Ford will having 49 %.
  101. Maharashtra Government renamed Aurangabad Airport as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Airport,to honour Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, who was son of Maratha warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    1. Earlier, Mumbai airport was named as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport (Aug 2018) and Kolhapur airport was renamed after Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj (Feb 2019).
  102. According to Freedom in the World 2020 report by US Based Freedom House -
    1. India ranks 83rd, with Timor-Leste and Senegal in ‘Free’category. Finland topped the list.
  103. RBI announced to undertake a six-month US Dollar sell/buy swaps to provide liquidity to foreign exchange market, as markets worldwide face intense selling pressures on extreme risk aversion due to the spread of Coronavirus. First sell/buy swap auction involves $2 billion.
  104. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) announced to run a special train ‘Shri Ramayana Express’, which will cover all pilgrimage sites associated with Lord Rama, under a 17 days tour.
  105. RBI started Long Term Repo Operation (LTROs), to enable banks to avail one year and three-year loans at same interest rate of one day repo. Usually, loans with higher maturity period have higher interest rate compared to short term (repo) loans. Current repo rate is 5.15%.
    1. It will put pressure on banks to reduce their lending rates. Hence, there will be a decline in short term lending rates of banks.
    2. RBI Intends to inject 1 lakh crores into banking system through LTRO auctions.
    3. 1st LTRO (Feb 17) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 3-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 1,94,414 crores, with 25035 Crores as alloted amount.
    4. 2nd LTRO (Feb 24, 2020) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 1-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 1,23,154 crores, with 25021 Crores as alloted amount.
    5. 3rd LTRO (Mar 02, 2020) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 3-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 1,71,965 crores, with 25028 Crores as alloted amount.
    6. 4th LTRO (Mar 09, 2020) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 3-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 48856 crores, with 25021 Crores as alloted amount.
  106. As per report by Consulting firm MicroSave Consulting (MSC) titled The real story of women's financial inclusion in India -
    1. Government's flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana helped in raising women's ownership of bank accounts from 43 % in 2014 to 77 % in 2017.
    2. India succeeded in reducing gender gap in financial inclusion by 14 percentage points in three years (2014-17).
  107. As per Wealth Report 2020 by  Knight Frank LLP -
    1. India has 5986 UHNWIs (Ultra high-net-worth individuals), expected to increase by 73% in coming 5 years.
    2. US topped the Report with 240575 UHNWIs, followed by China with 61587 & Germany with 23078.
    3. UHNWIs are people who are having a net worth of at least $30 million(mn) and above.
  108. 2nd leg of 1st Khelo India Winter Games 2020 concluded in Gulmarg (J & K).
    1. Around 900 players participated in the event which comprised of skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice hockey, snowshoeing, ice stock, snow rugby and snow baseball.
    2. 1st Leg of 1st Khelo India Winter Games 2020 was held in Ladakh at Leh.
  109. Visits to India (Mar 1-10, 2020) -
    1. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, former President of Iceland Visited India.
  110. General Conferences (Mar 1-10, 2020)
    1. Week-long festival called EKAM FEST was organized by NHFDC (National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation) in New Delhi, to promote products of Divyang artisans and entrepreneurs.
    2. Kerala government will offer safe abodes for couples who married across religion and castes, named ‘Safe Homes’.
    3. Google announced to open its next cloud region of India at Delhi by 2021, as 2nd second cloud region of Google after Mumbai. Google has 22 cloud regions in Asia Pacific.
    4. 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference 2020 based on theme Empowering Youth for Technology Led Farming, held in New delhi. Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2020 also held in New Delhi.
    5. Competition Commission of India organised the Fifth National Conference on Economics of Competition Law in New Delhi.
    6. Home minister Amit Shah inaugurated National Security Guard (NSG) Regional Hub campus at Kolkata (West Bengal).
    7. Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Gangwar  launched a mobile application named ‘Fuel Humsafar’ for delivery of diesel at doorsteps of Housing societies, hotels and hospitals in national capital region.
    8. Student Health Card scheme has been launched in UT of Jammu and Kashmir, to check malnutrition in school going children and to ensure good health of every school going children.
    9. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over security of Jammu airport, after Srinagar Airport recently. It will now take ovewr Leh airport soon. These three airports have been under J&K Police and CRPF so far.
    10. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda launched 1000 Spring Initiatives and Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments in Bhubhaneswar.
    11. Indian Army's PRAGYAN CONCLAVE 2020 Seminar organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) in New Delhi.
    12. Punjab government prohibited online supply of food from Food Business Operators (FBOs) not possessing hygiene rating.
    13. IIT Mandi along with Enabling Women of Kamand (EWOK) Society signed a tripartite agreement with National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD), for collaboration on setting up 3 Farmer Producer Organisation (FPOs) in Himachal Pradesh’s (HP) Mandi district.
    14. India Pharma 2020 & India Medical Device 2020 Conference & Exhibition held at Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat).
    15. Namaste Orchha festival held in Orchha (Madhya Pradesh), to create new opportunities to promote rich cultural heritage of state.
    16. New Delhi hosted 35th edition of AAHAR - Food and Hospitality fair organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).
    17. 10 day Attaukal Ponkala festival held in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) , considered as one of world's largest religious gathering of women.
    18. Historic City Chowk in old Jammu renamed as ‘Bharat Mata Chowk’.
    19. 2 day Nimad Chilli Festival 2020 held at Kasrawad in Khargone district (Madhya Pradesh).
    20. Major national event for 6th International Day of Yoga is will be held at Leh (capital of UT of Ladakh), on June 21.
  111. Mar 10 is foundation day of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which was set up on Mar 10, 1969.
  112. India signed World Bank loan 80 million USD, for project aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and improve water management practices in Himachal Pradesh.
  113. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research along with National Physical Laboratory recently discovered a bi-luminescent security ink, to be used to counterfeit currency notes. It shows two colours when exposed to light.
    1. Ink is produced by mixing two different colours namely green and red in the ratio 3:1. This mixture was hated to 400-degree Celsius.
  114. Scientists from Pune’s Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) have developed a hybrid variety of grapes named ARI-516, which is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding and has excellent juice quality. It is also suitable for preparation of juice, raisin, jam and red wine. 
    1. India ranks 12th in terms of grape production. Maharashtra leads in the production of grapes in India with a share of 81.22 %.
  115. As per report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) -
    1. India continues to be world’s second-largest arms importer, just behind Saudi Arabia. India accounts for 9.2% of total global arms imports during 2015-2019, while Saudi Arabia registered 12%. Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China are top 5 arms Importers.
    2. In Terms of Arms Exports, India ranks 23rd, with .2% share of total global arms expors and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius as India's biggest clients. US is top Arms Exporter, followed by Russia.
  116. Scientists at Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) Pune isolated 45 different strains of methanotrophic bacteria which have been found to be capable of reducing methane emissions from rice plants, crearting first indigenous methanotroph culture.
    1. Methanotrophs metabolise and convert methane into carbon-di-oxide, effectively reducing emission of methane, which is second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) and 26 times more potent as compared to CO2.
    2. Team found decrease in methane emissions in inoculated plants with a positive or neutral effect on growth of rice. This could lead to the development of microbial inoculants for methane mitigation in rice.
  117. Researchers at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) developed a new method to rapidly identify whether a disease-causing bacteria is alive or dead. It uses Raman spectroscopy, a technique usually used to identify chemical bonds in materials – to recognize bacteria and check for their viability.
  118. World’s first Digital Solutions Exchange, GOKADDAL has been launched in India. This cloud-based platform is created to help customers realize their digital transformation vision by bringing them solutions with tools and right providers.
  119. Aon Plc accquired Willis Towers Watson Plc for nearly $30 billion, making it world’s biggest insurance broker. Both Firms are UK Based.
  120. Bangladesh High Court declared Joy Bangla as national slogan of Bangladesh. Joy Bangla’ was the main slogan during the liberation war of Bangladesh fought against Pakistan in 1971. 
  121. Traditional Fagli’ festival  celebrated in Yangpa village of Kinnaur district (Himachal Pradesh), to observe  victory of good over evil.
  122. Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘NIGHA’ app to ensure ‘clean and healthy’ elections by curbing use of money and alcohol in upcoming local body elections.
  123. Gurugram Based Marketing Technology Firm AdGlobal360 has been acquired by Japanese company Hakuhodo Inc.
  124. 5 Indians Named on World Economic Forum (WEF) list of 115 Young Global Leaders -
    1. Byju Raveendran (Educational App Byju's Founder)
    2. Gaurav Gupta (Zomato’s co-founder)
    3. Tara Singh Vachani (CEO of Antara Senior Living)
    4. Vinati Mutreja (MD & CEO, Vinati Organics Limited)
    5. and Swapan Mehra (CEO, Iora Ecological Solutions)
  125. Google introduced DigiPivot, a skilling programme designed for women looking to return to their corporate careers after a break or simply planning to make mid career shifts to digital marketing.
  126. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik released comic book The Adventures of the Daredevil Democrat, on occasion of 104th birth anniversary of former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik.
  127. Alibaba Founder Jack Ma (China) replaced India's Mukesh Ambani as Asia's richest man. It came after Reliance shares crashed due to Coronavirus pandemic and fall of oil prices, causing Mukesh Ambani to USD 5.8 billion of his worth. Jack ma has worth of USD 44.5 billion, ahead of Mukesh Ambani with USD 41.8 billion.
  128. UN Security Council  approved peace agreement between US and Taliban, paving way for the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The deal was signed in February 2020 in Doha (Qatar).
  129. IT Firm Infosys and US Based chip maker Qualcomm tied up, to provide smart city solutions in India. These companies will provide several facilities in Indian Smart Cities like Smart Stadiums, Smart Venues, Smart Event Management and much more.
  130. Mar 12 is observed Globally as World Kidney Day.
  131. Badminton Player P V Sindhu won BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Indian Sportswoman of the year award 2019 and former sprinter Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha won Lifetime Achievement award.
    1. PV Sindhu also named brand ambassador for Andhra Pradesh government’s anti-graft helpline or anti-corruption helpline 14400.
  132. BusinessLine Changemaker Awards 2020 organized by Hindu Business Line in New Delhi -
    1. Social Transformation - Shanti Raghavan.
    2. Digital Transformation - Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
    3. Changemaker – (Financial Transformation)– India Stack.
    4. Young Changemaker - Pradeep Mewada, for using innovative ways to end open defecation in villages.
    5. Iconic Changemaker– Arunachalam Muruganandam, for creating low-cost sanitary pad for women.
    6. Changemaker of the Year– Dutee Chand - for winning India’s first medal in 20 years, in 100-metre race at Jakarta Asian Games in 2018.
    7. Changemaker of the year– ISRO - for making India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit.
  133. Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)’s global Technology(Tech) industry innovation survey ranked India at 2nd position, shared with China as most promising country for developing globally impactful disruptive technologies. US topped the survey.
  134. PSU Telecommunications consultants India Limited (TCIL) signed MoU with Gambia, for participation in MEA’s (eVBAB) e-VidyaBharati and e-ArogyaBharati Network Project for tele-medicine and tele-education in Africa. Gambia is 16th country to participate in this e-Network project.
  135. Indian Mountaineer Bhawna Dehariya scaled Mount Kosciuszko (2, 228 meters), which is highest peak in Australia.
  136. Apurva Purohit's 2nd book Lady, You’re the Boss, has been launched.
  137. Jewar International airport Project in Uttar Pradesh has been included in world's 100 strategic global infrastructure projects for 2020, recognised in CG LA Infrastructure list. Uttar Pradesh (India) and Yugoslavia have been chosen in field of aviation all over world.
  138. Tahira Kashyap Khurrana 's new Book The 12 Commandments Of Being A Woman has been released.
  139. In Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s 4th edition of Inclusive Internet Index 2020 (100 countries), India ranked 46th and Sweden is at 1st place.
  140. Govt initiated Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship programme (MGNF) in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bengaluru, as part of SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) programme, to boost skill development at district level.
    1. IIMB will train 75 graduates for two years in preparing District skill plan. Candidate will receive stipend of 50,000 - 60000 per month during 2 Year program.
  141. Hockey India 3rd annual awards 2019 -
    1. S.No.          Award/Category  Winners
      1 Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 Mr. Harbinder Singh
      2 Player of the Year 2019 (Male) Mr. Manpreet Singh
      3 Player of the Year 2019 (Female) Ms. Rani Rampal
      4 Upcoming Player of the Year 2019 (Men – Under 21) Mr. Vivek Sagar Prasad
      5 Upcoming Player of the Year 2019 (Women – Under 21) Ms. Lalremsiami
      6 President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement 2019 Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha
  142. Government has set up a 12-member panel to prepare an investigation manual for probe agency SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Agnecy), chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas.
  143. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 13, 2020) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved releasing additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners, with effect from Jan 01, 2020.  There will be an increase of 4 percent over existing rate of 17 % of Basic Pay/Pension.
    2. CCEA -
      1. Approved reconstruction plan for Yes Bank -
        1. State Bank of India (SBI) will buy 49 % stake of Yes Bank, investing 7250 Crores.
        2. HDFC Bank will invest 1000 crores, ICICI 1000 crores, Axis Bank 600 crores and Kotak Mahindra Bank will invest 500 crores.
        3. Troubled Yes Bank will be replaced in Nifty banking index by Bandhan Bank from March 27, 2020.
      2. Approved introducing Scheme for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), under which a mechanism would be created for reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies, at central, state and local level, which are currently not being refunded.
        1. It aims to boost domestic industry and Indian exports providing a level playing field for Indian producers in International market so that domestic taxes/duties are not exported.
        2. Refunds under RoDTEP scheme would be a step towards “zero-rating” of exports, along with refunds such as Drawback and IGST. This would lead to cost competitiveness of exported products in international markets and better employment opportunities in export oriented manufacturing industries. 
        3. As and when rates under RoDTEP Scheme are announced for a tariff line/ item, the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) benefits on such tariff line/item will be discontinued.
      3. Approved Rehabilitation and Upgradation of various National Highways covering total 780 kms in States of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
        1. It involves investment of 7662 crores which includes a world bank loan component of 3500 crores (USD 500 Million).
      4. Approved proposal of Department of Fertilizers to remove ambiguities in Modified New Pricing Scheme -III (NPS-III) for determination of fixed costs for urea units.
        1. Modified NPS-III was notified on 2nd April, 2014. However, due to ambiguous language of the notification, it could not be implemented.
        2. Concerned decision will facilitate its smooth implementation which will result in grant of Additional Fixed Cost of Rs.350/MT to 30 urea manufacturing units.
        3. The approval will also grant the special compensation of Rs. 150/MT to urea units which are more than 30 years old and converted to gas.
      5. Approved Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for copra for 2020 season.
        1. Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of milling copra - 9960 per quintal (from 9521).
        2. Ball copra - 10300 per quintal (from 9920)
        3. It assures a minimum of 50 percent as margin of profit as one of the important and progressive steps towards making possible doubling of farmers' incomes by 2022.
  144. Researchers from National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) Pune found a way to speed up Process of generating RBCs outside the body (in vitro) from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).
    1. They found that adding a very low concentrationof a small protein molecule called `transforming growth factor β1’ (TGF-β1), along with a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO), can cut down process time by three days (18 days from 21 earlier).
    2. Issue is that blood banks often face a severe shortage of whole blood as well as components of blood like red blood cells. Generating RBCs outside the body (in vitro) from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is en expensive and lenghty process (21 days). The new finding can help speed it up. 
  145. Scientists from International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) Hyderabad have developed a cost-effective solar receiver tube technology for industrial process heat applications.
    1. It efficiently absorbs solar radiation and converts it into heat for targeted applications, specially in industries. It exhibits high corrosion resistance suitable for Indian weather.
  146. Researchers from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism Mumbai (IIG) found that Himalayas subside and move up depending on seasonal changes in groundwater.
    1. As Himalayas are crucial in influencing climate in Indian subcontinent, this study will help in understanding how hydrology affects climate. Water acts as a lubricating agent, and hence when there is water in dry season, the rate of slip of fault in this region is reduced.
    2. Researchers used Global Positioning System(GPS) and Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, which has made it possible for them to quantify variations of hydrologic mass.
  147. Government Invoked Disaster Management Act 2005 and Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, to control and mitigate coronavirus outbreak.
    1. Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 was first enacted to tackle bubonic plague in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in former British-occupied India. The law is meant for containment of epidemics by providing special powers that are required for the implementation of containment measures to control the spread of the disease.
    2. Disaster Management Act aims ensure prices regulation and availability of Surgical and protective mask, Hand sanitizer and Gloves. Govt also brought masks and hand sanitizers under Essential Commodities Act.
  148. Wings India 2020, biennial civil aviation and aerospace event held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad (Telangana).
  149. Maharashtra Assembly approved a bill that exempts gram panchayat members from submitting their caste validity certificates at time of filing of the nominations, allowing candidates to submit their caste validity certificates within a year of winning elections.
    1. Maharashtra Cabinet also approved renaming Mumbai Central Station to commemorate Nana Shankarseth. Jagannath Shankarseth was a philanthropist and educationalist who lived between 1803 and 1865.
  150. RBI revised exposure limits for urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to a single borrower and a group of borrowers to 15 % and 25 % , respectively, of tier-1 capital.
    1. RBI had earlier permitted UCBs to have exposures up to 15 % and 40 % of their capital funds to a single borrower and a group of borrowers, respectively. UCBs must down existing exposures within these ranges, by March 2023.
    2. UCBs shall have at least 50 % of their aggregate loans (comprising loans of under 25 lakh or 0.2 % of their tier 1 capital), whichever is higher, subject to a maximum of 1 crore, per borrower.
    3. RBI also increased priority sector lending (PSL) target for UCBs to 75 % of adjusted net bank credit (ANBC), higher from 40 % earlier.
  151. Scientists at Hyderabad-based DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics Center have discovered a new mechanism that prevents cancer when an anti-cancer protein is converted.
    1. CDFD scientists have identified a rare p53 form of tongue cancer in Indians, which causes these mutant p53 cancers.
    2. Scientists identified genes of mutant p53 protein. One of these genes, called SMARCD1, is the most important. SMARCD1 converts a protein into symbolic words. It goes with other proteins and forms a multi-protein complex. Scientists have found that SMARCD-1 is seen in tongue cancer in Indians.
  152. Saurashtra won Ranji Trophy Cricket title for first time in 70 years, beating Bengal.
  153. Mar 13 is observed as World Sleep Day (Friday before the northern hemisphere vernal equinox).
  154. Indian airline SpiceJet signed pact with GMR Hyderabad Aviation SEZ Limited (GHUSL), enabling SpiceJet to set up warehousing, distribution and trading facility in aerospace and industrial park of GMR Hyderabad International Airport.
  155. IIT Mandi will establish a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), costing 7.25 crores.
  156. Facebook announced a call for applications for its CSR initiative, Facebook Pragati - powered by N/Core (The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation). It will incubate and accelerate, early stage women led non-profits in areas of women entrepreneurship.
  157. Indian Table Tennis Player Achanta Sharath Kamal won ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open, defeating Marcos Freitas of Portugal. His last title was Egypt Open in 2010.
  158. 2020 All England Badminton Open (112th Edition) -
    1. Men's Singles - Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
    2. Women's Singles - Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei)
    3. Men's Doubles - Japan's Hiroyuki Endo AND Yuta Watanabe
    4. Women's Doubles - Japan's Yuki Fukushima AND Sayaka Hirota
    5. Mixed Doubles - Indonesia's Praveen Jordan AND Melati Daeva Oktavianti
  159. Prashant Kumar has been appointed as New MD & CEO of Yes Bank, with Sunil Mehta as non-executive chairman.
    1. Mahesh Krishnamurthy and Atul Bheda will serve as non-executive directors.
    2. SBI, which has 49 % stake in Yes Bank, will nominate 2 directors. Any investor other than SBI with 15% voting rights can nominate 1 director.
    3. RBI appointed R Gandhi (former RBI Deputy Governor) and Ananth Narayan Gopalakrishnan as additional directors on Yes Bank board.
  160. Uttarakhand celebrated traditional harvest festival Phool Dei, observed on first day of Chaitra or in mid-March (according to Gregorian calendar).
  161. RBI nominated Debasish Panda (Department of Financial Services Secretary) on its central board.
  162. Manipur CM N. Biren Singh has announced scheme for welfare of sports persons and artists of State, named Chief Minister’s Akhannaba Sanaroising gi Tengbang (CMAST) and Chief Minister Artist Sing gi Tengbang (CMAT).
    1. Under CMAST, a suitable employment in government services will be provided to designated medalists. Cash awards for Olympic participants enhanced to 1 crore, 75 lakh, 50 lakh and 10 lakh rupees for different categories.
    2. CMAT will encourage artists in different fields and targeted to cover 4000 artistes annually. Pension will be given to selected artists who are over 60 years age.
  163. International Dark Sky Association named Small Oceanic Nation Niue as first Dark Sky Preserve Nation.
    1. International Dark Sky Places are spaces recognised for responsible lighting policies that keep the night-time environment naturally dark. There are over 130 of these accredited dark sites across the world, but never before has been bestowed on an entire country like now.
  164. Mar 14 is observed as International Pi (π) Day, observed since 1988.
    1. Also, UNESCO Observed Mar 14, 2020 as First Ever International Day of Mathematics, Proclaimed in 2019.
    2. Mar 14 is also observed as International Day of Action for Rivers.
  165. Indian Origin businessman Rajesh Chaplot honoured with Highest Civilian Award (Golden Jubilee Medal-Civilians) of Uganda, for his excellence in field of Business & Commerce, Social Service and for fostering India - Uganda ties.
  166. 39th GST Council Meet Held in New Delhi -
    1. Rate Changes -
      1. GST on mobile phones increased from 12% to 18%.
      2. Reduced GST on handmade and machine made match sticks to 12%.
      3. GST on maintenance repair overhaul services of aircraft was reduced from 18% to 5%.
    2. Policy Updates -
      1. New facility called ‘Know Your Supplier’ to be introduced.
      2. IT Firm Infosys will deploy a better GSTN system by July.
  167. Mar 15 is observed as World Consumer Rights Day. 2020 Theme is The Sustainable Consumer.
  168. Assam government will construct 33 stadiums in the state under Uttaran scheme, costing 300 crores.
  169. WION (World Is One News)'s 3rd Global summit 2020 based on theme Navigating and negotiating global imperatives, held in Dubai (UAE).
    1. During the meet, Pakistan recalled plan for Sir Creek pact. Sir Creek (originally Ban Ganga) is a 96 km long stream of water disputed between India & Pakistan in Rann of Kutch marshland.
    2. Sir Creek boundary line dispute has arisen due to a vague interpretation of maritime boundary line between Kutch and Sindh.
  170. Newly discovered species of treehopper in US, has been named Kaikaia Gaga after American singer Lady Gaga. Earlier,
    1. A deep-sea crustacean was named from American heavy metal band Metallica and is now known as Macrostylis metallicola.
    2. Synalpheus pinkfloydi shrimp was named after the English rock band Pink Floyd.
  171. RBI Issued guidelines for implementation of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind-AS) by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) while preparing their financial results.
    1. Guidelines mandate NBFCs/ ARCs to put in place board-approved policies that articulate and document their business models and portfolios.
  172. Govt approved 365 crores for constructing a new Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Sabroom (South Tripura district). This will be second ICP along the Indo-Bangla border in state after Akhaura ICP.
    1. Also, Recently in Dec 2019, Government had approved first SEZ (Special Economic Zone) of Tripura at Sabroom, with primary focus on agro-based food processing. As per rules, minimum of 25 hectares of land is required to set up a new SEZ in the North Eastern States. The SEZ is expected to generate 12,000 skiled jobs.
  173. Ministry of Women and Child Development notified new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Rules 2020, by replacing earlier 2012 rules. Under new amendments, punishment for sexual exploitation of children have been further made stringent.
  174. India's Nita Ambani (owner of Mumbai Indians cricket team franchise) is named in list of 10 most influential women in sports for 2020, by iSportconnect.
  175. According to RBI report, India’s current account deficit (CAD) fell sharply to $ 1.4 billion, or 0.2 % of GDP, for October-December 2019 quarter of FY 2019-20, compared to 2.7 % of GDP ($ 17.7 billion) in same period last fiscal.
    1. Foreign direct investment (FDI) during the period stood at $ 10.0 billion, higher than $ 7.3 billion same period last year.
  176. Global Animal Protection Index 2020 by World Animal Protection -
    1. India gained C grade (same as 1st edition in 2014), with other 8 countries.
    2. No country gained A grade.
  177. Noted conservationist Ian Redmond, Environmentalist Sacha Dench and Indian actor Randeep Hooda are named CMS Ambassadors for Migratory Species until 2023 under redesigned Ambassadors Programme launched at CMS COP13.
    1. Key UN Event 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals was hosted by India in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), in Feb 2020, called CMS-COP-13.
  178. Bharti Airtel acquired 10 % stake in fitness start-up Spectacom Global Pvt Ltd, under its ‘Airtel Startup Accelerator Program’.
    1. Spectacom is 2nd firm to join the Airtel Start-up Accelerator Program after Bengaluru-based Vahan.
  179. 2 special committees formed by Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with issues and approvals related to Central Armed Police Force(CAPF).
    1. First committee will be chaired by Home Secretary (Ajay Kumar Bhalla currently) and will deal with issues that need to be decided between Home Ministry and CAPFs.
    2. Second committee will be headed by Secretary (Border Management) and will solve only the procurement matters.
  180. Rajya Sabha approved some minor changes made by Lok Sabha in Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order Amendment Bill 2019 -
    1. Amendments replaced word 'seventieth' to 'seventy-first' and figure '2019' to '2020' at line one in first page.
    2. Bill seeks to include Parivara and Talawara tribal communities of Karnataka in ST category.
  181. Asian/Oceanian Boxing Olympic Qualifiers event 2020 held in Amman (Jordan) -
    1. 9 Indian boxers qualified in this event for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. India ranked 9th with 8 medals (2 Silver, 6 Bronze).
    2. China topped at top with 6 medals (4 gold,2 bronze).
  182. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh, has approved procurement of 83 more advanced Mk1A version of Tejas aircraft from HAL.
    1. Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is indigenously designed by Aircraft Development Agency (ADA) under DRDO and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Proposal will now be placed for consideration of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
  183. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) signed MoU with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), to bring in better synergy in agricultural activities.
    1. It aims to link Farmer Producer Organization and farmer cooperatives with export value chain. SFAC will share clusters of farmers and grouping distributed in various states with APEDA. They will then work together to link up these farmers with export chain.
  184. Scientists from Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) developed a starch-based ‘hemostat’ material that concentrates the natural clotting factors in blood by physically absorbing excess fluid. The biodegradable microparticles that combine to form a gel on a wound offer significant improvements over existing alternatives.
    1. Hemostat materials absorb excel fluid by concentrating the natural clotting factors in the blood that are critical for stopping the blood flow.
  185. Scientists at International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) have developed a process for size-selective deposition of nanocomposite coatings which can reduce  friction in Several aerospace, defence, automobile, space devices need to reduce friction, wear, and tear to enhance the life of components.
    1. Coatings developed by ARCI group reduced friction more and could withstand corrosion due to salt spray better than many similar wear-resistant coatings available in the market.
  186. Under UDAN scheme, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) flagged off first-ever flight from Indore (Madhya Pradesh) to Kishangarh (Ajmer, Rajasthan). With commencement of this route, Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalised 268 routes under UDAN scheme.
  187. Mar 16 is observed as National Vaccination Day in India.
  188. India signed MOU with Nepal, to provide 107.01 million Nepali Rupees for three new school buildings in Nepal, in Darchula,Dhanusha and Kapilvastu districts.
  189. Environmental organisations criticised a major project intending to link three rivers and provide seamless navigation between three of Europe’s peripheral seas.
    1. Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal intends to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers and thus provide another navigable link from the Black Sea to the North and Baltic Seas.
    2. Several environmental organisations asked European Union to halt this 23 Billion Euros project, as it would reportedly destroy region’s river landscapes, and is in violation of EU environmental laws.
  190. National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) Lucknow has developed a pest-resistant variety of cotton, due for field trials during April - October 2020, in Faridkot Center of Punjab Agriculture University (Ludhiana).
    1. This is expected to protect against whiteflies that are one of top devastator pests in world and vectors for some 200-plant viruses.
  191. President Ramnath Kovind nominated former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha.
    1. Under Clause (3) of article 80, President can nominate upto 12 persons to Rajya sabha.
  192. Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation jointly launched Innovate for Accessible India campaign to empower people with disabilities with the help of technology and tools to provide better integration into society and access to equal opportunities.
  193. 2019–20 Indian Super League season (sixth season) won by ATK (previously known as Atlético de Kolkata) FC, as their 3rd Title. They defeated Chennaiyin FC in Final.
  194. E-commerce company Flipkart tied up with Aegon Life Insurance to sell insurance solutions to its customers.
  195. Arfa Khanum Sherwani of The Wire and Bengaluru-based freelancer Rohini Mohan  jointly conferred Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalism. It was instituted by the Media Foundation in 1980, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a legendary freedom fighter.
  196. Book titled An Extraordinary Life, based on life of Manohar Parrikar, will be lanched in April 2020. He served as Union defence minister and Goa chief minister.
  197. Oil India Limited (OIL) signed 5 - year Crude Oil Sales Agreement (COSA) with Numaligarh Refinery, expected to streamline sale and purchase transactions of crude oil which will be produced from fields in North East India.
  198. Noted writer Paramananda Majumder has been presented 10th Moghai Ojah Award, for his significant role in raising issues of public interest.
    1. Moghai Ojah award was instituted in 2011 by Jorhat district unit of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP).
    2. It is annually presented on 15 March, carrying cash prize of 21000.
  199. Manikaran Power Ltd became first member of India’s first gas trading platform, called Indian Gas Exchange (IGX). 
    1. IGX is India’s first automated national level trading platform to promote and foster gas trading in country.
  200. Mar 17, 2020 marks 100th Birth Anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Jatir Pita of Bangladesh. He was first president of Bangladesh and later served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
  201. Mar 18 is observed as Ordnance Factory Day in India. First Ordnance Factory was established in Kolkata in 1801, which are 41 now.
    1. Mar 18 is also observed as Global Recycling Day, created in 2018.
  202. Flying car-maker PAL-V of The Netherlands will set up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat, aiming to commence production by 2021.
    1. PAL-V stands for Personal Air Land Vehicle.
    2. PAL-V can run at a speed of 160 kilometres on road and can fly at a speed of 180 kms. The car can turn into a flying vehicle in just three minutes and cover a distance of 500 km on a full tank.
  203. CRPF Signed MOU with a disability support NGO Aditya Mehta Foundation, to train its troops, who lost their limbs in operations, in various skills including cyber operations, artificial intelligence and para-sports
  204. New National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s bench has been established in Chennai, amid requirement being felt in South India.
    1. Chennai bench will hear petitions filed against orders of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry. New Delhi Bench of NCLAT will be known as Pradhan Peeth.
  205. Government appointed Bansi Lal Bhat as officiating chairperson of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
  206. Scientists from University of Geneva (Switzerland) detected liquid iron rain on highly heated exoplanet WASP-76b, which revolves around its star ‘WASP-76’ so closely that temperature reaches 1000 ° C.
    1. Observations made by Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (Espresso), fitted to Very Large Telescope (VLT) based at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile’s the Atacama Desert.
  207. Odisha government launched a star-rating program for industries in a bid to cut air pollution, which will rate industries from 1-star to 5-stars, depdnding of level of pollution they emit. Maharashtra had launch a similar program in 2019.
  208. Project Tech for Tribal, aimed at transforming 5 crore Tribal Entrepreneurs has been launched by TRIFED, in association with various reputed Higher education Institutes.
    1. Tech for Tribals aims at imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana(PMVDY). TRIFED is establishing 1,200 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra across Nation.
  209. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened for traffic 360 feet long bailey suspension bridge over Teesta River in Munshithang near Chungthang town.
  210. Researchers from National Centre for Cell Science Pune found that the pathogenic protein called the Huntingtin Protein causes decrease in overall protein production.
    1. Huntington Disease is a genetic disorder that declines cognitive abilities, impairs coordination of balance and movement, memory lapses, mood swings and personality changes.
    2. The disease is caused due to the mutation of the gene called HTT. The major function of these genes is to produce protein called Huntingtin.
  211. As First such event, Supreme Court removed Manipur Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh from state cabinet.
    1. Mr Shyamkumar won 2017 assembly elections, and Disqualification petitions were filed against him to speaker by other MLAs.
    2. When the issue was appealed to SC, It invoked Article 142 and has removed minister from the cabinet.
    3. Under Article 212, courts (including Supreme Court) cannot interfere in proceedings of Legislature of state. This has been over ruled by SC in this matter invoking Article 142. This is because, the matter was left unsolved by state assembly.
  212. India signed agreement with Israel to procure 16, 479 Light Machine Guns named Negev, for Rs 880 crores.
  213. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched draft of new Defence Procurement Procedure 2020, which aims to increase Indigenous Content ratio to boost indigenous manufacturing.
    1. Ratio is percentage of content of defence equipment built in India.
      1. Draft proposes increasing Indigenous Content (IC) stipulated in various categories of procurement by about 10% to support the ‘Make in India’s initiative.
      2. For instance, Indigenous Content Ratio of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is 75.5%.
    2. Procedure has introduced Buy Global category, with minimum 50% indigenous content on cost basis of total contract value.
    3. Procedure introduced Leasing as a new category. This is to replace huge initial payments with periodical rental payments.
    4. A new system has been introduced for software procurement, as software requires more frequent updates.
  214. 15th Finance Commission constituted a Committee to review fiscal consolidation roadmap of the general government, to be headed by N K Singh (15th Finance Commission Chairman). Fiscal Consolidation is the policy adopted by the Government to reduce the deficits.
  215. Indian Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta entered ‘Limca Book of Records’, becoming first Indian to climb highest volcanoes in world of all 7 continents. He has conquered -
    1. Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa (5,895 m)
    2. Mount Elbrus, Europe (5,642 m)
    3. Mt Pico de Orizaba, North America (5,636 m)
    4. Mt Giluwe, Australia (4,367 m)
    5. Mt Sidley, Antarctica (4,285 m)
    6. Mt Ojos del Salado, South America (6,893 m)
    7. Mt Damavand, Asia (5,610 m)
  216. RBI will infuse liquidity of 30000 crores to maintain financial stability in economy, amid market segments facing stress due to COVID-19 outbreak. RBI will purchase Government securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs), for total amount of 30000 crores.
  217. Supreme court cleared permanent commission for women officers in Indian Navy, contrary to Govt’s policy of 1991 and 1998 which lifted statutory bar on induction of women officers in Navy.
  218. Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as country’s new prime minister.
  219. IIT Kanpur and L&T Technology Services collaborated to carry out joint research in industrial and infrastructure cybersecurity, by setting up a Center of Excellence (CoE) at IIT Kanpur campus.
  220. 7th World Cities Summit (WCS) will be held in Singapore in July 2020, with theme Livable and Sustainable Cities: Adapting to a Disrupted World
  221. Book My Encounters in Parliament authored by Bhalchandra Mungekar has been released. He is former member of Rajya Sabha.
  222. Book Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar, authored by Tarun Vijay has been released.
    1. Another book based on life of Manohar Parrikar, titled An Extraordinary Life, will be lanched in April 2020.
  223. SBI acquired 6.825% stake in Zero Mass, the first ever Business Correspondent in country (starting in 2006 with Seiling village in Mizoram).
  224. Mar 20 is observed as International Day of Happiness, with 2020 Theme Happiness For All, Together.
    1. UN released World Happiness Report 2020 (153 Nations Analyzed for 6 Variables) -
      1. India ranked 144th.
      2. Top 5 - Finland (1), Denmark (2), Switzerland (3), Iceland (4), Norway (5)
      3. Bottom 3 - Afghanistan (153), South Sudan (152), Zimbabwe (3299)
    2. Mar 20 is also observed as UN French Language Day.
    3. Mar 20 is also observed as World Sparrow Day. 2020 Theme is I Love Sparrows.
    4. Mar 20 is also observed as Navroz (Parsi New Year). Globally, Dates vary between Mar 20 and 21.
    5. Mar 20 is also Observed as World day of theatre for children and Young People.
  225. UN's Food and Agriculture Organization released a report recently on Peatlands -
    1. Peatlands cover only 3% of the earth’s surface, they consist of 30% of world soil carbon. When they are released, they emit greenhouse gases.
    2. Peatlands are formed due to accumulation of decomposed plant remains. These remains stay accumulated over thousands of years due to water-logging.
    3. Indonesia has 40% of tropical peatlands. In India, peatlands occupy 320 square kilo metres to 1,000 square kilo metres area.
  226. Paleontologists of Canada linked human hands to fins of fish, as First such event time in study of Human Evolution, by examining a fossil of “Elpistostege”.
    1. Elpistostege represents pivotal stage of transition of fish into land vertebrates, supported by front fins of fish called pectoral fins.
    2. Paleontologists believe that during its era, Elpistostege was the top predator in brackish estuary ecosystem.
    3. Elpistostege lived during Devonian period, that spanned 60 million years and is around 419 million years ago. It is named after place Devon (England), where rocks of this era were first found.
  227. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) announced Swavalamban Express, which will visit 11 entrepreneurial cities, including Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai. Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolakata, Bhubaneswar and Varanasi. Any person between 20 and 35 years age can participate.
  228. General Conferences (Mar 11-20, 2020) -
    1. Hola Mohalla festival celebrated at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), a Sikh festival celebrated in month of Phalguna, a day after Holi.
    2. Uttar Pradesh Government passed ordinance Recovery of Damages to public and private property ordinance 2020, to deal with violent acts and control its persistence. It will also provide recovery of public and private property damages.
      1. Governor of a state can pass ordinance under Article 213, and promulgate the ordinance without permission of President.
    3. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) inaugurated ROPAX service from Bhaucha Dhakka (Mumbai) to Mandwa, Alibag in Maharashtra. ROPAX service is a ‘Water Transport Service Project’, under Eastern Waterfront Development.
    4. Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) entered Limca Book of Records (LBR) for establishing India’s First Living Culinary Arts Museum at WGSHA, Manipal, Karnataka.
    5. Renovated Animal Memorial for mules and horses of Indian Army unveiled in Bengaluru. It was Erected in 2006, as first of its kind animal memorial in Asia.
    6. Kerala will launch a digital literacy drive I am also digital, to create public-awareness about e-governance and use of various digital platforms through which wide ranges of services are delivered.
    7. On 35th Inception Day of National Crime Records Bureau, Crime Multi-Agency Centre (Cri-MAC) and National Cybercrime Training Center (NCTC) were launched in New Delhi.
    8. 6th edition of Economic Times Global business summit held in New Delhi.
    9. UNGCNI (United Nations Global Compact Network India) organized 3rd edition of its Gender Equality Summit 2020 with theme “India Inc. For Generation Equality: Decade of Action, in New Delhi.
    10. An exhibition titled “Jallianwala Bagh” held in New Delhi, on occasion of 130th Foundation Day of National Archives of India (NAI).
    11. Government approved renaming Amin village as Abhimanyupur in Kurukshetra district of Haryana as per request of State government.
    12. Department of Posts(DoP) launched free digital parcel locker service in 2 post offices in Kolkata Circle, as First such event. Under this, customers will be able to collect their parcel from post office according to their convenience.
    13. Maharashtra Government approved implementation of happy hours for auto rickshaws, reducing 15% of fare prices from 12 pm to 4 pm, as recommended by Khatua panel.
    14. Tamil Nadu government hosted first-ever regional event Divya Kala Shakti: Witnessing the abilities in disabilities a unique cultural in Chennai.
    15. 11th Bengaluru India Nano conference and exhibition Held in Bangalore, showcasing technologies / products developed in nanotechnology.
  229. Mar 21 is observed as -
    1. UN International Day of Forests, proclaimed in 2012. 2020 Theme is Forests and Biodiversity.
    2. World Down Syndrome Day, Observed since 2006. 2020 theme is We Decide.
    3. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Proclaimed in 1966.
    4. World Poetry Day, Proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999.
    5. World Puppetry Day.
  230. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 21, 2020) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Approved signing and ratifying Extradition Treaty with Belgium.
    2. General -
      1. Approved inclusion of AYUSH Health and Wellness Centre (AYUSH HWC) component of Ayushman Bharat in National AYUSH Mission (NAM). It requires expenditure of 3399 Crores (2209 Crores as Central Share and rest State share) for operationalization of AYUSH HWCs within 5 years. Ministry of AYUSH proposed following 2 models for operationalization of 12,500 AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres.
        1. Upgradation of existing AYUSH dispensaries (approximately 10,000)
        2. Upgradation of existing Sub Health Centres (SHCs) (approx. 2,500)
      2. Approved offering financial incentive of 25% of capital expenditure for manufacturing of goods that constitute supply chain of an electronic product under Scheme for Promotion of manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS).         
        1. Scheme will help offset disability for domestic manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors in order to strengthen electronic manufacturing ecosystem.
        2. Cost is approx 3285 crores.
      3. Approved assistance to Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC2.0) Scheme for development of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities through Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs). 
        1. EMCs would aid growth of ESDM sector and help development of entrepreneurial ecosystem. Outlay of proposed EMC 2.0 Scheme is 3,762 crores.
        2. Scheme will create a robust infrastructure base for electronic industry to attract flow of investment in ESDM sector and lead to greater employment opportunities.
      4. Approved schemes on -
        1. Promotion of Medical Device Parks for financing Common Infrastructure Facilities in 04 Medical Device Parks with financial implications of Rs. 400 crore.
        2. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promoting domesticmanufacturing of medical devices with financial implications of Rs. 3,420 crore.
      5. Approved schemes for -
        1. Scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks for financing Common Infrastructure Facilities in 3 Bulk Drug Parks with financial implication of Rs. 3,000 crore for next five years.
        2. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs in the country with financial implications of 6,940 crore for next eight years.
      6. Approved Production Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing -
        1. Scheme shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under target segments, to eligible companies, for a period of five (5) years.
        2. Cost of proposed scheme is approx 40995 crores.
        3. It has direct employment generation potential of over 2,00,000 jobs over 5 years.  Indirect employment will be about 3 times of direct employment as per industry estimates.
    3. CCEA -
      1. Approved engaging Maharashtra State Co­operative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation Ltd. (MSCCGMFL) to undertake Minimum Support Price (MSP)operations in Maharashtra, as Sub-agent of Cotton Corporation of India during cotton years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
        1. CCEA also approved to reimburse losses to CCI and MSCCGMFL on sale of cotton procured under MSP operations during the cotton years (October to September) -
          1. 2017-18 and 2018-19 - 312 Crores
          2. 2014-15 and 2015-16 - 748 Crores
  231. A new book Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great Expectations written by Tavleen Singh has been released.
  232. Uttarakhand government cancelled reservation in promotion for state government employees,  implementing government order datng back to 2012.
  233. Jammu and Kashmir government has set up a commission to examine the social and educational backwardness of various backward classes people, including dalits. It is Named J&K Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission, and will be headed by Justice (retired) G D Sharma.
  234. RBI issued new guidelines for payment aggregators (PAs) Under Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, effectie from April 2020. -
    1. PAs connect e-commerce companies with banks and are of 2 Types - Bank and Non-Bank. New Rules are for Non Bank PAs and require authorisation from RBI under Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007 (PSSA).
    2. RBI reduced minimum capital requirements (MCR) for PAs at time of application for licence to 15 crore from 100 crores. Net worth needs to be increased to Rs 25 crore within three years of operations.
    3. Existing PAs shall achieve a net-worth of Rs 15 crore by March 31, 2021, and 25 crores by March 31, 2023.
    4. PAs are mandated to set up designated nodal offices to deal with customer grievance.
    5. PAs are prohibited from allowing online transactions to be done with ATM pin as the second factor of authentication.
  235. Mar 22 is observed Globally as World Water Day, Being Observed by UN since 1993. 2020 Theme is Water and Climate Change.
    1. As per a UN Report, 3.5 to 4.4 billion people are to live with limited access to water by 2050. Presently, 2.2 billion people are lacking safe drinking water.
  236. IIT Madras will organize India’s first Global Hyperloop Pod Competition in July 2020, to increase awareness and enthusiasm about Hyperloop in India.
    1. Hyperloop is 5th mode of transportation, a high-speed train that travels in a near-vacuum tube. The reduced air resistance allows the capsule inside the tube to reach speeds of more than 1000 km/h.
  237. United Kingdom will co-chair India led CDRI (Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure), established by India at G20 meet 2017 in Hamburg (Germany).
    1. CDRI will aid in reshaping construction, aimed at building strong climate resilient infrastructures that will reshape construction in core sectors such as energy, transportation, telecommunication and water.
    2. According to Sendai Framework, 1 USD spent in disaster risk reduction is 7 USD gained. However, developing countries are facing problems to balance economic investment and disaster resilient infrastructure. CDRI will help countries in solving this.
  238. India annouced to continue $2.3 billion (about Rs 15,000 crore) deal with Turkey to manufacture fleet support vessels (FSVs) in collaboration with a Turkish shipyard.
    1. Doubts were raised about the same after Turkey’s links with Pakistan and Turkish President commenting against India about Kashmir conflict.
  239. Mar 23 is observed as World Meteorological Day, to mark establishment of World Meteorological Organization on Mar 23, 1950.
  240. Mar 23 is Obvserved As Martyr's Day (Shaheedi Diwas) in India. It marks death anniversary of Great Freedom Fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru on 23 March 1931, in Lahore (Pakistan).
    1. In India, apart from Mar 23, there are 5 otherd days declared as Martyrs' Day-
      1. Jan 30 - Date of Assasination of M K Gandhi by Shri Nathuram Godse, is Observed as Martyr's Day.
      2. May 19 - Bengali Language Movement of Barak Valley in Assam was a protest against decision of Government of Assam to make Assamese only official language of state, even though significant proportion of population were Bengali. Main incident, in which 15 people were killed by state police, took place on 19 May 1961. 19 May is thus designated Bhasha Shahid Divas ("Language Martyrs Day").
      3. 21 October is Police Martyrs' Day. On this date in 1959, a CPRF patrol at Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh was ambushed by Chinese forces.
      4. Odisha observes 17 November, death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai as Martyr's Day.
      5. Birthday of Rani Lakshmibai, 19 November is observed as Martyrs' Day in Maharashtra.
    2. Mar 23 is also Birth Anniversary of Noted Freedom Activist Ram Manohar Lohia.
  241. MP Rakesh Sinha issued asked for permit to move a resolution in Rajya Sabha, wich aims to drop word “Socialist” in the Constitution, claiming that it is redundant in current scenario and must be dropped to create space for economic thinking.
    1. Preamble of Constitution declares India to be sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.
    2. Resolution claims that word was included without enough debate in Parliament as it was introduced during emergency.
    3. Words “Socialist” and “Secular” were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution, attempted to reduce powers of Supreme Court. It laid down fundamental duties of Indian Citizens.
    4. Amendment gave Parliament the powers to amend the constitution without judicial review.
    5. Till 1973, Supreme Court held that Preamble shall not be amended as it is not a part of Constitution. In 1973, in Keshvananda Bharti Case, Supreme Court pronounced that Preamble is a part of Constitution and Parliament has full rights to amend the Preamble.
  242. NASA stated that Asteroid ‘1998 OR 2’ will safely flyby earth, about 64 lakh km away from earth. This asteroid was first seen by NASA in 1998. It will pass by the Earth on April 29, 2020.
    1. As per NASA, 4 other asteroids heading towards Earth - 2020 FV4, 2020 FP, 2012 XA133 and 2020 FV3. One among the four asteroids is a 1,280-foot wide asteroid.
  243. Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been appointed as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for his 4th term. Few days earlier, Kamal Nath-led Congress government lost its majority in state after several MLAs withdrew their support, led by Jyotiraditya Scindia.
  244. Budget Session 2020 -
    1. Held in 2 Parts (Feb 1 to 11, 2020 and Mar 2 to 23, 2020) -
      1. Part 2 (Mar 2 to 23, 2020) -
        1. Facts -
          1. Productivitiy of Both houses (Lok and Rajya Sabha) was 93 %.
        2. Notable Info Disseminated During Question Hour -
          1. Government is running online ‘Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT)’ since 2018, to enhance quality of teaching in higher education, Using MOOCs platform SWAYAM. It aims at online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty.
          2. Rooftop solar plants with aggregate capacity of 1922 MW are installed in country.
            1. Gujarat has 64 % of approx 80000 Rooftop solar plants nationwide, followed by Maharashtra with just over 5000 installations.
            2. Gujarat government adopted scheme called Surya Gujarat, to increase use of solar energy at domestic level. It aims over 8 lakh domestic consumers by 2022 and provides 40% subsidy to projects with capacity between 3 KWhr and 10 KWhr.
            3. Current solar power capacity of India is 34.045 GW. India had set target of reaching 20 GW by 2022, which is now increased to 100 GW by 2022. This includes 40 GW of rooftop solar power.
          3. Government will give bonus marks to NCC certificate holders in direct recruitment examinations of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), to increase participation of India’s youth in NCC (National Cadet Corps).
          4. Indian Railways will electrify 28810 km of broad gauge route by December 2023.
          5. Government included grand Konark Sun Temple in Odisha & Statue of Unity in Gujarat in Iconic Tourist Sites list, taking the total number of such places from 17 to 19.
            1. Also, India has 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
            2. Also, India submitted 2 nomination dossiers namely ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ for inclusion in the World Heritage List for 2020.
          6. Tamil Nadu topped in disbursement of agriculture credit by giving away loans worth 1,63,289 crore out of a total of 10,33,183 crore distributed across country till December 31 this fiscal.
          7. As per latest key world energy statistics published by International Enery Agency, India is 3rd largest producer of electricity in world and ranks 106th in terms of per capita consumption.
          8. As per Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, DPCO (Drugs Prices Control Order) 2013 has helped save Rs 12, 447 crores per annum. DPCO is an order issued by Govt under Essential Commodities Act 1955, which details to fix prices of the drugs. It empowered National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) to fix threshold prices of drugs.
          9. MP Rakesh Sinha issued asked for permit to move a resolution in Rajya Sabha, wich aims to drop word “Socialist” in the Constitution, claiming that it is redundant in current scenario and must be dropped to create space for economic thinking.
            1. Preamble of Constitution declares India to be sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.
            2. Resolution claims that word was included without enough debate in Parliament as it was introduced during emergency.
            3. Words “Socialist” and “Secular” were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution, attempted to reduce powers of Supreme Court. It laid down fundamental duties of Indian Citizens.
            4. Amendment gave Parliament the powers to amend the constitution without judicial review.
            5. Till 1973, Supreme Court held that Preamble shall not be amended as it is not a part of Constitution. In 1973, in Keshvananda Bharti Case, Supreme Court pronounced that Preamble is a part of Constitution and Parliament has full rights to amend the Preamble.
          10. Ministry of Textiles has allocated Rs 1480 crores for National Technical Textiles Mission, to be implemented for a period of 4 years between 2020-21 and 2023-24. Technical textiles are a non-aesthetic product where function is its primary purpose.
            1. They are used in 12 applications namely Geotech, Indutech, Military textiles, packing, agro, buildings, Geotech, medtech, autotech, smartech, sportech and clothtech.
          11. Ground water is contaminated with Uranium at 30 micro-grams per litre in country. Bureau of Indian Standards has set the maximum permissible limit of Uranium in drinking water as 0.03 mg per litre. Intake of large amount of Uranium causes kidney problems.
          12. Rural Development Ministry will add over 14 lakhs SHGs (Self Help Groups) to achieve 75 lakh SHGs by 2022 to enable more women to get livelihood. Currently, there are 60.8 lakh SHGs across the country comprising about 6 crores 73 lakh women.
          13. Government aims to replace all level crossings on National Highways by Over/under Bridges, under Setu Bharatam scheme, which was launched in March 2016.
          14. Government formed a committee for implementation of Kisal Rail, to work out modalities of the scheme. It was proposed in Budget 2020-21. Under this, Govt envisages setting up of a national cold supply chain to transport highly perishable goods including milk, fish and meat, through a public-private-partnership (PPP) arrangement.
          15. Ministry of AYUSH released digital platform AYUSH GRID, aims to digitize entire AYUSH sector by providing related facilities and promote traditional health care.
            1. Ministry of AYUSH has developed National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes, that classify diseases described in Ayurveda. In the first phase of the initiative 4 disease conditions have been identified namely KAsa, Kushtha, Jwara and Shwasa.
          16. Ministry of Home Affairs approved automated facial recognition system (AFRS) by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for better identification of unrecognized bodies, missing children, persons and criminals without violating privacy. AFRS will use police records and it can be accessed only by law enforcement agencies.
          17. 1.83 lakh crore is spent under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (MNREGA) in 2017-2020 which is nearly double amount of Rs 92,483 crore spent in 2011-14.
          18. Ministry of Finance  released figures related to various schemes having special provisions for women empowerment -
            1. Stand-Up India Scheme - Over 81% account holders are women ( 73155).
            2. Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) - 70% of borrowers are Women (15 Crores).
            3. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) - 53 % bank account holders are women (20 crores).
            4. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) - 43 % subscribers are women (90 lakh).
            5. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) - 40.70% enrollments are of women members.
            6. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) - 41.50% enrollments are of women members.
          19. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) granted 1.46 lakh crores in rural banking system during FY (2019-20).
          20. India’s bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Bhutan, Nepal, Republic of Korea and Malaysia saw cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1 % over past 5 years.
          21. India’s share in contracts awarded by Defence Ministry for the procurement of defence equipment has increased from 39.06%(2015-16) to 75.03%(2019-20), showing growth in domenstic industry.
          22. 3 States and 5 UTs have become kerosene-free, evan after government meeting target of 8 crore LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
          23. Department of Biotechnology cleared Genome India Project, with over 20 leading institutions participating. In 1st phase, samples of 10,000 persons will be taken to develop a reference Genome.
            1. Human Genome Project was launched in 1990 and ended in 2003, as an international project funded by US. It aimed to map human genome and assemble them together to obtain a complete sequence of chromosomes.
        3. Bills Passed by Parliament (Passed by Both Houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) -
          1. Central Sanskrit Universities Bill 2019 -
            1. This Bill seeks to convert these 3 deemed-to-be uni universities into Central Sanskrit Universities -
              1. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
              2. Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi
              3. Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati.  The Bill
            2. It seeks to form Executive Council and concerned authorities, to ensure smooth functioining of newly formed central sanskrit universities.
          2. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 -
            1. It amends Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, which provides process for resolving insolvency in companies / individuals.
            2. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 was promulgated in Decembe 2019, which has now been negatived after passage of this bill.
            3. Background -
              1. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 provides a time-bound process to resolve insolvency among companies.   If company defaults by 1 lakh rupees, a creditor can initiate insolvency resolution process.
              2. Committee of Creditors is constituted to decide regarding the insolvency resolution. Committee consists of financial creditors to insolvent company.  Financial IBC was amended in 2018 to classify allottees of real estate projects as financial creditors.  
              3. Committee may consider a resolution plan. If it is not accepted by Committee, assets of company are liquidated.
              4. An Insolvency Law Committee in its report in March 2018, had recommended that supply of goods and services essential to keep a particular business running cannot be terminated when a company is undergoing insolvency resolution. 
              5. Need for amendments was felt when, In a few cases, after successful resolution,  actions were initiated against companies for offences committed by previous promoters.  
                1. For instance, after NCLT approved JSW Steel’s resolution plan for Bhushan Power and Steel, Enforcement Directorate attached latter’s properties for its prior offences. 
              6. In this context, IBC (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2019. IBC (Amendment) Ordinance 2019, similar to the Bill, was issued in December 2019.
            4. Key Features of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 -
              • Threshold for certain creditors for initiating resolution process -
                • Code allows creditors to initiate an insolvency resolution process, if a company defaults on its payments.
                • Ordinance introduces an additional threshold for certain classes of financial creditors, including allottees of real estate projects, for initiating resolution process.  At least 10% of them or 100 such persons have to jointly initiate the process.
              • Supply of critical goods and services not to be discontinued -
                • Ordinance mandates that supplies of goods and services considered critical by the resolution professional cannot be discontinued during moratorium period.  
              • Licenses and permits not to be terminated due to insolvency -
                • Ordinance states that any existing license, permit, registration, or clearance given by any government authority to debtor will not be suspended or terminated due to insolvency.
              • Liabilities for prior offences -
                • Ordinance states that the company will not be liable for any offence committed prior to commencement of insolvency resolution process.  
                • Such liabilities will cease and the company will not be prosecuted after resolution plan is approved by NCLT.  
                • Immunity will be to given only if resolution results in change in management of company.  
              • Appointment of Interim Resolution Professional and commencement date:  
                • Under the Code, insolvency commencement date when application for corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) is admitted. Insolvency Resolution Professional (IRP) is to be appointed within 14 days of this.  
                • Ordinance states that IRP must be appointed on date of admission of application, which will be considered as the insolvency commencement date.
          3. Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It Bill amends Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 (MMDR Act) and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 (CMSP Act).  
            2. An Ordinance with similar provisions was promulgated in January 2020. Which has now been negatived after passage of this bill.
            3. MMDR Act regulates overall mining sector in India. CMSP Act provides for the auction and allocation of mines whose allocation was cancelled by Supreme Court in 2014.  
            4. Bill Features -
              1. Removal of restriction on end-use of coal -
                1. Currently, companies acquiring Schedule II and Schedule III coal mines through auctions can use coal produced only for specified end-uses such as power generation and steel production.  Bill removes this and allosw Companies to carry on coal mining operation for other means including own consumption.
              2. Eligibility for auction of coal and lignite blocks -
                1. Bill clarifies that companies need not possess any prior coal mining experience in India in order to participate in auction of coal and lignite blocks.  
              3. Composite license for prospecting and mining -
                1. Currently, separate licenses are provided for prospecting and mining of coal and lignite, called prospecting license, and mining lease, respectively.   Prospecting includes exploring, locating, or finding mineral deposit.  
                2. Bill adds a new type of license, called prospecting license-cum-mining lease. This will be a composite license providing for both prospecting and mining activities.
              4. Non-exclusive reconnaissance permit holders to get other licenses -
                1. Currently, holders of non-exclusive reconnaissance permit for exploration of certain specified minerals are not entitled to obtain a prospecting license or mining lease.
                2. Bill provides that holders of such permits may apply for a prospecting license-cum-mining lease or mining lease.
              5. Transfer of statutory clearances to new bidders -
                1. Currently, upon expiry, mining leases for specified minerals can be transferred to new persons through auction.   This new lessee is required to obtain statutory clearances before starting mining.  
                2. Bill provides that various approvals, licenses, and clearances given to the previous lessee will be extended to successful bidder for 2 years.   During this period, new lessee will be allowed to continue mining operations.
              6. Reallocation after termination of the allocations -
                1. CMSP Act provides for termination of allotment orders of coal mines in certain cases.  Bill adds that such mines may be reallocated through auction or allotment as may be determined by government.  
              7. Prior approval from the central government -
                1. Under MMDR Act, state governments require prior approval of central government for granting reconnaissance permit, prospecting license, or mining lease for coal and lignite.  Bill provides that prior approval of central government will not be required in granting these licenses for coal and lignite, in certain cases.
              8. Advance action for auction -
                1. Under MMDR Act, mining leases for specified minerals (minerals other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals) are auctioned on the expiry of the lease period.  Bill provides that state governments can take advance action for auction of a mining lease before its expiry.
          4. Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill 2020 -
            1. It provides a mechanism for resolution of pending tax disputes related to income tax and corporation tax.
            2. Appellant - Bill defines an appellant as the income tax authority, or the person, or both, whose appeal is pending before any appellate forum as on January 31, 2020. Appellate forums are Supreme Court, High Courts, Income Tax Appellate Tribunals, and Commissioner (Appeals).
            3. Resolution mechanism -
              1. Bill proposes a resolution mechanism under which an appellant can file a declaration to designated authority to initiate resolution of pending direct tax disputes. Designated authority will determine amount payable by the appellant against dispute and grant a certificate, within 15 days of the receipt of declaration.
              2. Appellant must pay this amount within 15 days of receipt of certificate.
              3. On issuance of certificate, appeals pending before Income Tax Appellate Tribunals and Commissioner (Appeals) will be deemed to be withdrawn. Appeals / petitions pending before Supreme Court and High Courts will be required to be withdrawn.
            4. Amount payable for resolution -

              Disputes relating to

              Payable before March 31, 2020

              Additional amount payable after March 31, 2020

              Payment of tax

              Amount of disputed tax

              (any interest or penalty associated with such tax will be waived)

              (i) 10% of the amount of disputed tax, or (ii) interest and penalty relating to that tax, whichever is lower

              Payment of fee, interest, or penalty

              25% of the amount under such dispute

              Another 5% of the amount under such dispute

            5. Waiver of rights - For dispute resolution, appellant is required to furnish an undertaking waiving his rights to seek any remedy or claim in relation to that dispute.
            6. Disputes not covered - Proposed mechanism will not cover certain disputes.  These include where prosecution has been initiated before declaration is filed, involving persons who have been convicted / prosecuted for offence, for enforcement of civil liabilities, and involving undisclosed foreign income or assets.
        4. Bills Passed by Lok Sabha (Pending in Rajya Sabha) -
          1. Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It amends Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act 2014 and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act 2017.
            2. Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act 2017 declares certain Indian Institutes of Information Technology established under Public-Private Partnership mode as institutions of national importance.  Under the Act, 15 institutes are currently incorporated as institutions of national importance.
            3. Bill seeks to declare 5 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) set up under the Public Private Partnership mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.  Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
          2. The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It seeks to amend Aircraft Act 1934, which regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts, and licensing of aerodromes. Key Provisions -
            2. Authorities - Bill converts 3 existing bodies under Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies under the Act.   These three authorities are Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB). Each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General.
              1. DGCA will carry out safety oversight and regulatory functions.  
              2. BCAS will carry out regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.  
              3. AAIB will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.  
            3. Power of centre to make rules - Under the Act, government may make rules on several matters, including registration of aircraft, regulating air transport services, and prohibition of flight over any specified area. Bill adds regulation of air navigation services to this list.  
            4. Adjudicating officers:  - Bill provides appointment of designated officers, to adjudicate penalties under Bill.
            5. Offences and Penalties - Under the Act, penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both.   Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees. 
              1. Under Bill, central government may cancel licences, certificates, or approvals granted to a person under Act if the person contravenes any provision of the Act.  
              2. Bill allows for compounding of certain offences / rules under the Act.  
              3. Courts will not take cognizance of any offence under this Act, unless a complaint is made by, or there is previous sanction from Director General of Civil Aviation, BCAS, or AAIB.
            6. Exemption for Armed Forces - Armed Forces Aircrafts are exempted from the provisions of the Act.   Bill expands this exemption to include aircraft belonging to any armed force of India.  
          3. Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill 2020 -
            1. It seeks to confer status of Institution of National Importance to Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus (Jamnagar), namely -
              1. Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and to subsume Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga & Naturopathy Education & Research into Department of Swasthvritta of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
          4. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It amends Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971, which provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners.  
            2. Termination of pregnancy -
              1. Under the Act, pregnancy may be terminated within 12 weeks, subject to certain conditions. For termination of a pregnancy between 12 to 20 weeks, two medical practitioners are required to give their opinion.
              2. Bill amends this provision to state that a pregnancy may be terminated within 20 weeks, with opinion of a registered medical practitioner.  Approval of two registered medical practitioners will be required for termination of pregnancies between 20 to 24 weeks.
              3. Bill states that upper limit of termination of pregnancy will not apply in cases where such termination is necessary due to diagnosis of substantial foetal abnormalities.  
            3. Protection of privacy of a woman -
              1. Bill states that no registered medical practitioner will be allowed to reveal the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated, except to a person authorised by law.
        5. Bills Introduced in Parliament (Pending in Both Houses) -
          1. Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 -
            1. It seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in India and provide greater autonomy to these ports.  It seeks to replace Major Port Trusts Act 1963.  
            2. Application - Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam.
            3. Major Port Authorities Board - Under Act, all major ports are managed by respective Board of Port Trusts.  Bill provides for creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.  
              1. Board will comprise of a Chairperson and a deputy Chairperson, appointed by government. It will have other designated prominent members.
            4. Powers of the Board - Bill allows the Board to use its property, assets and funds as deemed fit for the development of major port.
            5. Fixing of rates - Currently, Tariff Authority for Major Ports fixes scale of rates for assets and services available at ports.  Under Bill, the Board or committees appointed by Board will determine these rates.  
            6. Financial powers of Board - Under Act, Board has to seek prior sanction of government to raise any loan.  Under Bill, to meet its capital and working expenditure requirements, the Board may raise loans from any bank / financial institution, within or outside India that is compliant with laws.  For loans above 50% of its capital reserves, Board will require government approval.  
            7. Corporate Social Responsibility - Bill provides that the Board may use its funds for providing social benefits.
            8. Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects - Bill defines PPP projects as projects taken up through a concession contract by Board. For such projects, the Board may fix the tariff for the initial bidding purposes. 
            9. Adjudicatory Board - Bill provides for constitution of an Adjudicatory Board by government, to replace existing Tariff Authority for Major Ports constituted under 1963 Act.  
            10. Penalties - Under Act, there are various penalties for contravening provisions of the Act, up to 10000 or penalty for evading rates may extend up to 10 times the rates.  Under Bill, any person contravening any provision of the Bill or any rules or regulations will be punished with a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.
          2. Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 -
            1. It seeks to amend Companies Act 2013.
            2. Producer companies -
              1. Under 2013 Act, certain provisions from Companies Act 1956 continue to apply to producer companies.  
              2. Producer companies include companies which are engaged in the production, marketing and sale of agricultural produce, and sale of produce from cottage industries.  
              3. Bill removes these provisions and adds a new chapter in Act with similar provisions on producer companies.   
            3. Changes to offences - Bill makes three changes -
              1. Removes penalty for certain offences.  For example, it removes penalties which apply for any change in rights of a class of shareholders made in violation of Act.  
              2. Second, it removes imprisonment in certain offences. For example, it removes the imprisonment of three years applicable to a company for buying back its shares without complying with Act.  
              3. Third, it reduces amount of fine payable in certain offences.   For example, it reduces maximum fine for failure to file annual return with the Registrar of Companies from five lakh rupees to two lakh rupees. 
            4. Under Act, one person companies or small companies are only liable to pay up to 50% of penalty for certain offences.  
              1. Bill extends this provision to all producer companies and start-up companies, extends this provision to apply to violation of any provision of Act and limits penalty to 2 lakh rupees for company and one 1 lakh rupees for a defaulting officer. 
            5. Direct listing in foreign jurisdictions -
              1. Bill empowers government to allow certain classes of public companies to list classes of securities in foreign jurisdictions.   
            6. Exclusion from listed companies -
              1. Bill empowers government, in consultation with SEBI, to exclude companies issuing specified classes of securities from the definition of a "listed company".
            7. Remuneration to non-executive directors -
              1. Act makes special provisions for payment of remuneration to executive directors of a company if the company has inadequate or no profits in a year.
              2. Bill extends this provision to non-executive directors, including independent directors.  
            8. Beneficial shareholding -
              1. Under Act, if a person holds beneficial interest of at least 10% shares in a company or exercises significant influence or control over company, he is required to make a declaration of his interest to company.  
              2. Bill empowers government to exempt any class of persons from complying with these requirements if considered necessary in public interest.    
            9. Exemptions from filing resolutions -
              1. Act requires companies to file certain resolutions with Registrar of Companies. However, banks are exempt from filing resolutions passed to grant loans, or to provide guarantees or security for a loan.   Under Bill, This exemption has been extended to registered non-banking financial companies and housing finance companies. 
            10. Corporate Social Responsibility -
              1. Under Act, companies with net worth, turnover or profits above a specified amount must constitute CSR Committees and spend 2% of their profits in last 3 years, towards CSR policy. Bill exempts companies with a CSR liability of up to Rs 50 lakh a year from setting up CSR Committees.
            11. Periodic financial results for unlisted companies -
              1. Bill empowers government to require classes of unlisted companies to prepare and file periodical financial results, and to complete audit or review of such results.
            12. Benches of NCLAT -
              1. Bill seeks to establish benches of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. These shall ordinarily sit in New Delhi or such other place as may be notified.
          3. Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020 -
            1. It establishes Raksha Shakti University Gujarat (established under Raksha Shakti University Act 2009) as a University called Rashtriya Raksha University, declaring it as an institution of national importance.   Bill also repeals 2009 Act.  
            2. Bill provides for creation several authorities for ensuring its operationalization.  Governing Body will consist of up to 15 members.  
          4. National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020 -
            1. Bill establishes Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Gandhinagar (established under the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Act 2008) and Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences New Delhi, as a University called National Forensic Sciences University at Gujarat. 
            2. It declares University to be an institution of national importance, and repeals 2008 Act. 
            3. Objectives include promoting academic learning in the field of forensic science in conjunction with applied behavioural science studies, law and other allied areas to strengthen criminal justice institutions in India.
          5. Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It seeks to amend Banking Regulation Act 1949, with regard to cooperative banks.  
            2. Exclusion -
              1. Act does not apply to certain cooperative societies - primary agricultural credit societies, cooperative land mortgage banks, and any other cooperative societies (except those specified in the Act).
              2. Bill amends this provision to state that Act will not apply to primary agricultural credit societies, and cooperative societies whose principal business is long term financing for agricultural development.
            3. Issuance of shares and securities by cooperative banks -
              1. Bill provides that a cooperative bank may issue equity / preference / special shares to its members / other person.
              2. It may issue unsecured debentures or bonds or similar securities with maturity of ten or more years to such persons, subject to RBI approval.   
            4. Bill states that no person will be entitled to demand payment towards surrender of shares issued to him by a co-operative bank. Co-operative bank cannot withdraw or reduce its share capital.
            5. Supersession of Board of Directors -
              • Act states that RBI may supersede Board of Directors of a multi-state cooperative bank for up to five years under certain conditions.  
              • Bill adds that in case of a co-operative bank registered with Registrar of Co-operative Societies of a state, RBI will supersede the Board of Directors after consultation with concerned state government.
            6. Power to exempt cooperative banks -
              1. Bill states that RBI may exempt a cooperative bank or a class of cooperative banks from certain provisions of the Act through notification, for a specific time period.
            7. Certain provisions omitted - Bill seeks to omit certain provisions from the Act.  Some are -
              1. Act restricts cooperative banks from making loans or advances on security of its own shares.  It also prohibits grant of loans to directors or related persons / firms. Bill omits this provision from the Act.
              2. Act states that cooperative banks cannot open a new place of business or change location of bank outside of city / town / village in which it is currently located, without permission from RBI.  Bill omits this.
              3. Act requires a scheduled cooperative bank to maintain assets with a value not exceeding 40% of the its total demand and time liabilities, within India.   Bill omits this provision.
      2. Part 1 (Feb 1 - 11, 2020) -
        1. Facts -
          1. Budget Session to be held in 2 phases - Phase 1 in January 31-February 11 and second session from March 2-April 3, 2020.
          2. Productivitiy of Both houses (Lok and Rajya Sabha) was 93 %.
        2. Notable Info disseminated during Question Hour -
          1. Public Enterprises Survey 2018-19 Presented in Parliament, prepared by Department of Public Enterprises (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) -
            1. There were total 348 CPSEs as on 31st March 2019, out of which 249 were operational. 86 CPSEs are under construction and 13 under closure / liquidation.
            2. Paid up capital in all CPSEs is 275697 crores, growth of 8.55%.
            3. Investment in all CPSEs is 1640628 crores,growth of 14.65%.
            4. Total income of all CPSEs during 2018-19 is 2440748 crores,growth of 20.12%.
            5. Profit of 178 profit making CPSEs stood at 174587 crores, showing growth of 11.96% from 2017-18.
            6. Loss of 70 loss making CPSEs stood at 31635 crores, showing decrease in losses by 1.69 %.
          2. 5.6 km long railway line between Agartala (Tripura) and Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by September 2021, improving connectivity between Indian and Bangladesh Railways and boosting trade.
            1. Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is bearing cost for 5.46km Indian side and cost of 10.6 km-long track on Bangladesh side is Funded by Ministry of External Affairs (India).
          3. India’s trade deficit with China reduced from USD 63.05 billion to USD 53.57 billion.
            1. India’s imports from China declined from USD 76.38 billion in 2017-18 to USD 70.32 billion in 2018-19, and our exports grew from USD 13.33 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.75 billion in 2018-19.
          4. Ministry of MSME is implementing a ‘Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI) Scheme under which financial support is being provided for setting up of traditional industries clusters viz. Khadi, Coir & Village industries clusters.
          5. Unemployment rate in India was 6.1 % in 2017-18, as per new Periodic Labour Force Survey being conducted by government. Labour force participation is 36.9 % in 2017-18.
          6. Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has sanctioned 39 Mega Food Parks and 298 Integrated Cold Chain Projects throughout country, under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). Among states, Maharashtra has been sanctioned with highest number of food parks and chain projects (67).
          7. Approx 38 Crores Bank accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) till January 2020, launched in 2014. PMJDY accounts have “No minimum balance” requirement. It offers an overdraft (OD) limit of Rs 10,000 & free accident insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh.
          8. Number of subscribers in Atal Pension Yojana (APY) reached over 1.5 Crores in FY 2018-19.
          9. As per UNICEF's State of World's Children Report 2019, Under 5 Mortality Rate in India is 37 per 1,000 live births against Global average of 39 per 1,000 live births in 2018, which translates to more than 8 lakhs under 5 deaths in India.
          10. As per Census conducted by Registrar General of India, sex ratio In India improved to 943 in 2011 from 926 in 1991. As per National Health Profile, India has declining birth rate (from 20.8 in 2015 to 20.2 in 2017) & death rate (from 6.5 in 2015 to 6.3 in 2017) over last three years.
        3. Bills Passed by Parliament (Passed by Both Houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) -
          1. None
        4. Bills Passed by Lok Sabha (Pending in Rajya Sabha) -
          1. None
        5. Bills Passed by Rajya Sabha (Pending in Lok Sabha) -
          1. None
        6. Bills Introduced in Parliament (Pending in Both Houses) -
          1. The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
            1. It Bill seeks to amend Aircraft Act 1934, which regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts, and licensing of aerodromes. Key Provisions -
            2. Authorities - Bill converts 3 existing bodies under Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies under the Act.   These three authorities are Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB). Each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General.
              1. DGCA will carry out safety oversight and regulatory functions.  
              2. BCAS will carry out regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.  
              3. AAIB will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.  
            3. Power of centre to make rules - Under the Act, government may make rules on several matters, including registration of aircraft, regulating air transport services, and prohibition of flight over any specified area. Bill adds regulation of air navigation services to this list.  
            4. Adjudicating officers:  - Bill provides appointment of designated officers, to adjudicate penalties under Bill.
            5. Offences and Penalties - Under the Act, penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both.   Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees. 
              1. Under Bill, central government may cancel licences, certificates, or approvals granted to a person under Act if the person contravenes any provision of the Act.  
              2. Bill allows for compounding of certain offences / rules under the Act.  
              3. Courts will not take cognizance of any offence under this Act, unless a complaint is made by, or there is previous sanction from Director General of Civil Aviation, BCAS, or AAIB.
            6. Exemption for Armed Forces - Armed Forces Aircrafts are exempted from the provisions of the Act.   Bill expands this exemption to include aircraft belonging to any armed force of India.  
          2. Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill 2020 -
            1. It seeks to confer status of Institution of National Importance to Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus (Jamnagar), namely -
              1. Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and to subsume Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga & Naturopathy Education & Research into Department of Swasthvritta of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
          3. Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill 2020 -
            1. It provides a mechanism for resolution of pending tax disputes related to income tax and corporation tax.
            2. Appellant - Bill defines an appellant as the income tax authority, or the person, or both, whose appeal is pending before any appellate forum as on January 31, 2020. Appellate forums are Supreme Court, High Courts, Income Tax Appellate Tribunals, and Commissioner (Appeals).
            3. Resolution mechanism -
              1. Bill proposes a resolution mechanism under which an appellant can file a declaration to designated authority to initiate resolution of pending direct tax disputes. Designated authority will determine amount payable by the appellant against dispute and grant a certificate, within 15 days of the receipt of declaration.
              2. Appellant must pay this amount within 15 days of receipt of certificate.
              3. On issuance of certificate, appeals pending before Income Tax Appellate Tribunals and Commissioner (Appeals) will be deemed to be withdrawn. Appeals / petitions pending before Supreme Court and High Courts will be required to be withdrawn.
            4. Amount payable for resolution -

              Disputes relating to

              Payable before March 31, 2020

              Additional amount payable after March 31, 2020

              Payment of tax

              Amount of disputed tax

              (any interest or penalty associated with such tax will be waived)

              (i) 10% of the amount of disputed tax, or (ii) interest and penalty relating to that tax, whichever is lower

              Payment of fee, interest, or penalty

              25% of the amount under such dispute

              Another 5% of the amount under such dispute

            5. Waiver of rights - For dispute resolution, appellant is required to furnish an undertaking waiving his rights to seek any remedy or claim in relation to that dispute.
            6. Disputes not covered - Proposed mechanism will not cover certain disputes.  These include where prosecution has been initiated before declaration is filed, involving persons who have been convicted / prosecuted for offence, for enforcement of civil liabilities, and involving undisclosed foreign income or assets.
  245. Jammu and Kashmir Govt approved adoption of J-K IT/ITeS policy, to develop a modern IT ecosystem in UT. J&K Govt also approved implementation of Dairy cooperative scheme for dairy cooperative society with support of National Cooperative Development Corporation.
  246. Indian Oil Corporation will be first company to start supplying BS-VI fuel across India through its over 28000 fuel pumps.
    1. Government has set 01st April 2020 as deadline to start supply of BS-VI emission compliant fuels. BS (Bharat Stage)-VI grade fuel is world’s cleanest fuel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur.
  247. Karur Vysya Bank launched pre-paid card Enkasu (My cash in Tamil), under its Quit cash movement.
  248. Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named Hillel Furstenberg of Israel and Gregory Margulis of USA as winners of Abel Prize 2020 for their pioneering use of methods from probability & dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics -
    1. Abel Prize is a Norwegian prize awarded annually by of Norway to outstanding mathematicians, named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
    2. It comes with a monetary award of 7.5 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK) (.7 Million USD - Approx 5 Crores INR).
  249. Savita Chhabra's first novel Legacy of Learning’ has been launched.
  250. Former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah released from detention after 7 months. He was booked under Public Safety Act and was kept under detention since August 2020, after Govt abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
  251. Mar 24 - World Tuberculosis Day. 2020 Theme is Its Time.
    1. Mar 24 is also observed as International Day for Achievers.
  252. Bhushan P Dharmadhikari is appointed as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court (Maharashtra).
  253. IRDAI has set up a 16-member committee to improve corporate governance systems of insurers, primarily on making key functions such as risk management and internal audits independent of each other. It is headed by Pravin Kutumbe.
  254. Heritage Foundation's 26th annual Economic Freedom Index 2020 -
    1. Top 5 - Singapore (1), Hong Kong (2), New Zealand (3), Australia (4), Switzerland (5)
    2. Bottom 3 - North Korea (180), Venezuela (179), Cuba (178)
    3. India ranked 120th.
    4. Neighbors - China (103), Pakistan (135), Bangladesh (122), Nepal (139), Sri Lanka (112)
  255. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 25, 2020) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Germany - Railways
    2. General -
      1. Approved extra supply of food grains via rations shops, with monthly quota of subsidized food grains increased from 2 to 7 kg, to help people during lock down. This will benefit over than 80 crore people. Also, food will be at subsidized rates - wheat (2 per kg) and rice at 3 per kg.
      2. Approved continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) from April 2020 onward, until its merger with Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP).
        1. CCEA had earlier Approved introducing Scheme for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), under which a mechanism would be created for reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies, at central, state and local level, which are currently not being refunded.
          1. It aims to boost domestic industry and Indian exports providing a level playing field for Indian producers in International market so that domestic taxes/duties are not exported.
          2. Refunds under RoDTEP scheme would be a step towards “zero-rating” of exports, along with refunds such as Drawback and IGST. This would lead to cost competitiveness of exported products in international markets and better employment opportunities in export oriented manufacturing industries. 
          3. As and when rates under RoDTEP Scheme are announced for a tariff line/ item, the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) benefits on such tariff line/item will be discontinued.
    3. CCEA -
      1. Approved continuation of recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) by providing minimum regulatory capital to RRBs for another year beyond 2019-20, that is, up to 2020-21 for those RRBs which are unable to maintain minimum Capital to Risk weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 9%, as per RBI norms.
        1. CCEA also approved utilization of 670 crore as central government share for scheme of Recapitalization of RRBs (50% of the total recapitalization support of Rs.1340 crore).
        2. As per RBI guidelines, RRBs have to provide 75% of their total credit under PSL (Priority Sector Lending).
      2. Approved taking up construction of Aligarh-Harduaganj flyover by Ministry of Railways, with Length 22 kilometer.  The project is expected to be completed by 2024-25 at a cost of over Rs. 1285 crores.
  256. Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) Pune have developed a biofortified durum wheat variety MACS 4028, which shows high protein content of about 14.7%, better nutritional quality having zinc 40.3 ppm, and iron content of 40.3ppm and 46.1ppm respectively, good milling quality and overall acceptability.
    1. MACS 4028 variety is also included by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) programme for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to alleviate malnutrition in a sustainable way and can boost the Vision 2022 “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat”, the National Nutrition Strategy.
  257. Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) found that glaciers in Sikkim are melting at a higher magnitude as compared to other Himalayan regions. Small glaciers in Sikkim are retreating while larger glaciers are thinning due to climate change.
  258. Hyderabad based International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has developed a technology to improve fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines, by reducing friction in the engines.
    1. This has been achieved through Laser surface micro-texturing. In this technology, the friction is controlled by controlling the size, density and shape of the micro-surface texture features. Such a texture is created by using a pulsating laser beam.
  259. According to a survey by Global Energy Monitor, global coal power plant development declined for the fourth consecutive year. Also, 13 gigawatts (GW) of capacity construction has been delayed so far this year due to the coronavirus.
  260. United States Space Force began its first national security mission by sending a hyper-secure military communications satellite into orbit, called Lockheed Martin Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite.
  261. An earthquake of high magnitude of 7.5 struck near Severo-Kurilsk in Russia, with No casualties reported.
  262. Scientists at University of Cambridge (UK) discovered fossil of world’s oldest known modern bird skull dating to about 66.8m – 66.7m years ago, naming it ‘Wonderchicken‘, which is thought to be a common ancestor of modern chickens and ducks. It was a small-bodied, ground-dwelling bird which fed along land near the seashore, with scientific name Asteriornis maastrichtensis.
  263. Mar 25 is observed as -
    1. International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade
    2. International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members.
    3. Telugu New Year day ‘Ugadi’ observed on Mar 25.
  264. Joint US and UAE biennial exercise Native Fury began at Abu Dhabi (UAE).
  265. Book Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back, written by Chander Suta Dogra has been published.
  266. Saudi Arabia Chaired Virtual G20 summit held on formulating strategy to fight COVID-19 Outbreak. G20 Nations pledged to infuse 5 trillion USD, to fight the pandemic.
    1. Extraordinary G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Virtual Meet was also held, with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal representing India.
    2. Extraordinary G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting was also held, with India represented by Finance Minister Nirmala Nitharaman.
  267. Indian Origin Author Ruchika Tomar won 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for her Debut Novel A Prayer for Travelers.
    1. This award is given annually to an American author who has not previously published a full-length book of fiction.
  268. Madhya Pradesh Government appointed Iqbal Singh Bains as Chief Secretary of state.
  269. Tamil Nadu govt announced bifurcation of Nagapattinam district to create a new district Mayiladuthurai, as 38th district in state.
  270. RBI stated that bank credit to registered NBFCs towards agriculture, MSEs and housing sector up to prescribed limits will be treated as priority sector loans during next fiscal (FY 2020-21). It will boost credit disbursement in targeted segment like agriculture, MSME and housing sector.
    1. Bank credit to registered NBFCs (other than MFIs) and HFCs for on-lending will be allowed up to an overall limit of 5 % of individual bank's total priority sector lending.
    2. On-lending by NBFCs for 'term lending' component under agriculture will be allowed up to Rs 10 lakh per borrower.In case of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) limit will be Rs 20 lakh per borrower.
    3. In housing sector, limit has been enhanced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per borrower for classification of the loan as priority sector lending.
  271. Mar 27 is observed as World Theatre Day, proclaimed in 1961 by International Theatre Institute.
  272. Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar received IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 for her contribution to world tourism through cinema. She has honored during 8th India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) in Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  273. IndusInd Bank appointed Sumanth Kathpalia as its MD & CEO.
  274. RBI opened an emergency line of credit of around 60,000 crore to Yes Bank to meet any liquidity crisis in paying back its depositors as bank resumed normal operations. Such move comes after 16 years when a similar credit line was opened for Global Trust Bank in 2004.
  275. Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) with support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation is developing a 1st of its kind “Form Based Codes” for development of railway land. It will enable the desired kind of development around station areas.
  276. Govt appointed Krishan Mohan Prasad and Satish Kumar Gupta as members of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
    1. Current CBDT chairman is Pramod Chandra Mody.
  277. NASA announced Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SUNRISE) mission, to study about how sun creates Giant Solar Particle Storms. Mission is to deploy 6 CubeSats in Geosynchronous-orbit. Cubesats will use radio telescope to capture radio images of low-frequency emission that are emitted from sun.
  278. United Nations Security Council adopted China initiated Resolution 2518 to ensure safety and security of peacekeepers, as first such resolution for safety of peacekeepers.
  279. Asian Development Bank will invest 100 million USD in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), to help stressed Indian Economy. Main purpose of the fund is to aid Greenfield and brownfield projects in country. When an entity is to use benefits of the funds, Government invests 49% and rest has to be raised from third party investors.
  280. JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) signed agreement with India for 3 mega rail infrastructure projects, estimated at 15295 crores.
    1. 8553 crores are granted for phase I of the Dedicated Freight Corridors in India.
    2. 4262 crores for Mumbai-Trans Harbour link project.
    3. 2480 crores for Mumbai Metro Line Project.
  281. Campaign Earth Hour observed on March 28, being observed since 2007. Aim is to call attention towards global warming, loss of biodiversity and climate change.
    1. During one-hour campaign, businesses and people all over the world switch off unnecessary lights and electronic items between 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM. Earth Hour is held ever year on the last Saturday of March.
  282. Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) brought back Model Guidelines for Conservation, Management and sustainable use of Community Forest Resources (CFR Guideline) under Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRA), four years after it was freezed. Ministry created a committee headed by NC Saxena.
    1. CFR right under FRA empowers Gram Sabhas to conserve and manage their forest.
    2. In 2016, CFR guidelines were prepared by MoTA. However, guidelines faced criticism from various tribal organisations for being too technical.
  283. State Bank of India raised USD 100 million green bonds, first such bond by any state-owned bank in this fiscal. The bonds were priced at 3M Libor + 80 basis points.
  284. Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC, a Joint Venture between Tata Power, Norway’s Clean Energy Invest (CEI), and International Financial Corporation (IFC) started commercial operation of 178 MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (HPP) in Georgia.
  285. North Macedonia (formerly Republic of Macedonia) officially became NATO’s 30th member, upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO).
  286. NASA picked up a new space capsule from Elon Musk led SpaceX to ferry cargo and supplies to NASA’s planned lunar space station, in a $7 billion contract. SpaceX will use its biggest rocket, Falcon Heavy to send spacecraft named as “Dragon XL” to Lunar Gateway.
  287. As per UN report, World economy will go into recession this year, Due to Coronavirus Pandemic. It will be much more worse than 2008 Global recession.
    1. UNCTAD says it will create serious trouble for developing countries, but wont affct India and China much.
    2. Countries with rich commodity export will face a USD 2 - 3 Trillion drops in overseas investments in next two years.
  288. Government reduced interest rates on small savings schemes, applicable for April - June 2020 Quarter, widely due to economic stress caused by COVID-19 Outbreak -
  289. Finance Ministry issued Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance 2020, to implement several taxation and other relaxation measures, amid COVID-19 Outbreak -
    1. Direct Taxes & Benami (Extended to 30-06-2020)
      1. Filing income-tax returns for FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20).
      2. Aadhaar-PAN linking.
      3. Commencement of operation for SEZ units for claiming deduction under deduction 10AA of IT Act.
      4. Passing of order of notice by authorities under various direct taxes& Benami Law.
      5. Reduced interest of 9% shall be charged for non-payment of Income-tax Equalization Levy, Securities Transaction Tax (STT), Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) which are due for payment from 20-03-2020 to 29-06-2020, if they are paid by 30-06-2020..
      6. Under Vivad se Vishwas Scheme, date extended up to 30-06-2020. Declaration and payment under the Scheme can be made up to 30-06-2020 without additional payment.
    2. Indirect Taxes (Extended to 30-06-2020) -
      1. Furnishing of Central Excise returns due in March, April and May 2020.
      2. All filing of appeal, refund applications etc., under excise, customs and service tax, due from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020, extended to 30-06-2020.
      3. Date for making payment to avail benefit under Sabka Vishwas Legal Dispute Resolution Scheme 2019 extended to 30-06-2020.
    3. The ordinance also allows 100% exemption on donations made on PM-Cares Fund.
  290. Govt. approved several other economic relief measures amid COVID-19 Outbreak -
    1. Commerce and Industry Ministry extended Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) by 1 year, which came into force on 1st April 2015, for 5 years. Foreign Trade Policy is now valid up to 31st March, 2021.
      1. Benefit under all the Export Promotion Schemes (except SEIS) and other schemes, available as on date, will continue to be available for another 12 months.
    2. Approved hike in the wages of manual labourers under Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The workers will get a wage hike ranging 13 - 34 INR.
    3. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) introduced Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020 and revised LLP Settlement Scheme 2020 -
      1. Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020 will enable companies make good of any filing-related defaults, irrespective of duration of default, and make a fresh start as a fully compliant entity.
      2. To provide a similar facility to Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), recently notified LLP Settlement Scheme 2020 is also revised.
      3. Both schemes provide one-time waiver of additional filing fees for delayed filings by companies or LLPs with Registrar of Companies during currency of Schemes (April 1 to September 30, 2020).
      4. The Schemes, apart from giving longer timelines for corporates to comply with various filing requirements under Companies Act 2013 and LLP Act 2008, significantly reduce related financial burden on them.
  291. Mar 30 is statehood day of State of Rajasthan, established on Mar 30, 1949.
    1. Mar 30 is also observed as Doctors' Day in USA. In India, it is observed on March 30.
  292. Government re-appointed B. P. Kanungo as RBI Deputy Governor.
    1. Other RBI Deputy Governors are M. D. Patra, M. K. Jain.
    2. N. S. Vishwanathan retired as RBI Deputy Governor on Mar 31, 2020.
  293. RBI decided limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for first half of FY 2020-21 (April to September 2020), to be 120000 crores. RBI may trigger fresh floatation of market loans when Government utilises 75 % of WMA limit.
  294. Amid disruptions caused by COVID-19, RBI decided to extend window timings of Fixed Rate Reverse Repo and MSF operations to provide eligible market participants with greater flexibility in their liquidity management -
    Type of operation New Window Timing Old Window Timing
    Fixed-rate Reverse Repo 09:00 hrs to 23:59 hrs 17:30 hrs to 23:59 hrs
    MSF 09:00 hrs to 23:59 hrs 17:30 hrs to 23:59 hrs
  295. RBI has announced measures to make ample liquidity available in market, to enbale banks to lend to productive sectors, announcing measures to inject 3.74 lakh crores.
    1. These include targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) of up to 1 lakh crores, a 100-basis point (bps) cut in cash reserve ratio CRR and easier borrowing requirements under the marginal standing facility (MSF) window.
    2. CRR cut and easing of MSF borrowing requirements will lead to a 1.37 lakh crores liquidity infusion each.
  296. General Conferences (Mar 21 - 31, 2020) -
    1. Gujarat Police became first in India, to procure taser guns as a part of their modernization drive to ensure public safety and security. Taser guns (electrical weapon) use compressed nitrogen to fire, by sending electricity through attached wires, which disrupt voluntary control of muscles.
    2. Himachal Pradesh government launched Police Station Visitor Survey System and e-Night Beat Checking System for Himachal police. These would help Police in doing self-evaluation and improve working. 
    3. India and France, For the first time, conducted joint patrols from Reunion Island, onboard a P-8I aircraft.
  297. Chennai Port Trust will buy 67 % in Kamarajar Port Ltd, from Central Government for about Rs 2,380 crores. Both ports are in Tamil Nadu.
  298. As per report Boom and Bust 2020:Tracking the Global Plant Pipeline by Global Energy Monitor and Greenpeace International -
    1. 47.4 GW coal fired power projects at different stages were cancelled in India in 2019 which reduced total under development coal capacity to 66 GW.
    2. Globally, 16% year-on-yeardrop in capacity under construction and in pre-construction development, and 66% drop since 2015.
  299. RBI allowed Small Finance Banks (SFBs) to carry out simple financial activities without seeking a prior approval from it, applicable to SFBs who have completed 3 years of operations.
    1. In November 2014, RBI had issued licences to 10 companies interested to launch small finance banks.
  300. The Hindu Literary Prize 2019 winners -
    1. Fiction - Mirza Waheed (Tell Her Everything)
    2. Non-Fiction - Santanu Das (India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs).
  301. Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates (March 2020) -
    1. India -
      1. SBI launched an additional liquidity facility “Covid-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL)” to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers in order to tide over current crisis situation. SBI will facilitate funds up to 200 crores under this.
        1. SBI also committed 0.25% of annual profit for FY 2019-20, to fight COVID-19 Crisis.
        2. Indian Bank also launched five special emergency loans targeted at specific corporates.
      2. Government constituted a high level technical committee of Public Health Experts for COVID-19 to guide the prevention and control activities in country, headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul.
      3. India shared two SARS-CoV-2 with the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). Pune based National Institute of Virology has shared two sequences of novel corona virus with Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.
      4. Government Invoked Disaster Management Act 2005 and Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, to control and mitigate coronavirus outbreak.
        1. Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 was first enacted to tackle bubonic plague in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in former British-occupied India. The law is meant for containment of epidemics by providing special powers that are required for the implementation of containment measures to control the spread of the disease.
      5. Scientists at CSIR-IHBT (Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology) developed a new sanitizer without using chemicals, amid hike in demand for the same due to COVID-19 Outbreak.
      6. Invest India (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) launched  Invest India Business Immunity Platform, to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s response to COVID-19, in partnership with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India).
      7. PM Narendra Modi called for a complete lockdown of entire nation for 21 days (Mar 25 - Apr 14, 2020), to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic. Govt also allocated 15000 Crores to fight the pandemic.
      8. Reliance has set up India's first hospital to operate exclusively to treat Corona Virus patients, in Mumbai, with Negative Pressure Rooms.
        1. Negative Room Pressure technology is a technique in medical centres that prevent cross-contamination. This allows air to flow into the room and prevents air from escaping out of the room.
      9. PM Narendra Modi also launched Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund), to enable voluntary contributions by Citizens, to help Govt in eradicating CODIV-19. People can use UPI handle pmcares@sbi, to contribute.
      10. Government announced 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for poor, to help them fight against Corona Virus -
        1. Insurance cover of 50 Lakh per health worker fighting COVID-19 to be provided under Insurance Scheme.
        2. 80 crore people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months.
        3. Gas cylinders would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.
        4. 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for next three months.
        5. Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families.
        6. Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled.
        7. Government to pay 2000 to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.7 crore farmers.
        8. Government asked State Governments to use Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction Workers.
        9. For Wage-earners below 15000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers, government will pay 24 % of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for 3 months.
        10. For 63 lakhs women Self Help Groups (SHGs) that support 6.85 crore households, Limit of collateral free lending would be increased from 10 to 20 lakhs.
        11. Employees’ Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as reason to allow non-refundable advance of 75 % of amount or three months of wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.
        12. Govt also created a seperate fund of 15000 crores to fight COVID-19.
      11. Government announced several easing measures, aimed at helping citizens / companies during Lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19 Outbreak.
        1. Financial Services -
          1. No charges on withdrawal of cash in bank ATMs.
          2. There will be no charges on not keeping minimum balance requirement, for 3 months.
          3. Reduced digital charges for trade transactions.
        2. Tax measures -
          1. For FY 2018-19, last date for returns extended to June 30, 2020. For delayed payments made till June 30, interest rate reduced to 9% from 12%.
          2. For delayed deposit of TDS, interest has been reduced to 9 % from 18%
          3. Aadhaar-pan linking extended to June 30 from March 31
          4. Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme extended to June 30. No additional 10% amount, if payment made by June 30, 2020.
          5. Compliances under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transaction Act, Black Money Act, Vivaad se Vishwaas, have been extended to June 30, 2020
        3. GST
          1. All GST returns for March, April, May and composition returns extended to June 30, 2020
          2. For companies less than 5 cr no late fee and penalty to be charged. For above Rs 5 cr, only int at the rate of 9% For Customs
          3. Sabka Vishwaas scheme for indirect taxes having last date till March 31 has been extended to June 30,2020. No interest to be levied.
          4. Customs clearance till June 30 to work 24x7.
        4. Companies -
          1. In respect of MCA21 registry, there is a moratorium being issued from April 1 till Sep 30 no additional fees for late filing.
          2. For newly incorporated companies, additional 6 months for filing declaration of commencement of business.
          3. Mandatory requirement of holding meetings of Board of companies within prescribed interval provided in Companies Act (120 days), shall be extended by 60 days (till 30th September).
          4. Requirement to create a Deposit reserve of 20% of deposits maturing during 2020-21 before 30th April 2020 shall be allowed to be complied with till 30th June 2020.
          5. Requirement to invest 15% of debentures maturing during a particular year in specified instruments before 30th April 2020, may be done by 30th June 2020.
        5. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code -
          1. Threshold of default raised from 1 lakh to 1 crore, to prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings for SMEs.
          2. If it continues like this beyond April, then sec 7, 9, 10 of the IBC will be suspended for a period of six months.
      12. RBI Announced several measures to prevent economic fallout due to COVID-19 Outbreak -
        1. RBI Allowed Banks to Declare 3 Months Moratorium on Term Loans, to enable borrowers to avail 3 months deferment on payment of Loan EMIs. It is applicable between repayments due between Mar 1 - May 31, 2020.
          1. Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, there may be temporary disruption in cash flows / loss of income, for businesses/ individuals. This measure is a great help to borrowers. More Details and FAQs
        2. RBI has announced several Monetary Policy Rates Changes, by preponing 7th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2019-20 due to COVID-19 Outbreak -
          1. Repo Rate by 75 basis points, to 4.4 %.
            1. Repo rate is now lowest ever. Before this, it had hit lowest point of 4.74% in April 2009 amid Global Financial Crisis.
          2. Reverse Repo Rate cut by 90 basis points, to 4 %.
          3. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) of all banks reduced by 100 basis points to 3%, for one year.
          4. These measures will inject liquidity of Rs 3.74 lakh crore to the system.
          5. Current MPC Rates -
            1. Repo Rate - 4.40 %
            2. Reverse Repo - 4.00 %
            3. Bank Rate - 4.65 %
            4. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) - 3 %
            5. SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) - 18.25 %
            6. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate - 4.65 %
      13. Pune based testing services MyLab became first Indian company to get approval from CDSCO for sales of COVID-19 testing kits.
      14. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare declared Hydroxycholoroquine as a Schedule H1 drug, putting restrictions on its sales and distribution. Out of 4 treatments suggested by the World Health Organization to contain the virus, India adopted the use of Hydroxychloroquine.
      15. Mo Jeeban Programme launched by Odisha Government to contain the spread of COVID-19, appealing people to stay indoors.
      16. Indian Army launched Operation Namaste to contain spread of Corona Virus in country.
      17. RBI for the first time, shared its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to ensure zero disruptions in the national payments systems (NPS) due to the coronavirus outbreak. BCP is a recovery plan to prepare for anticipated disruptions, ensure smooth flow of operations and staffing, and form crisis management groups.
      18. Government fixed price of a three-ply face mask made of melton-non-woven fibre till June 30 at a maximum of Rs 16 per mask.
      19. Government created a ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ in collaboration with WhatsApp to provide factually correct information about coronavirus. People can clarify their queries by sending Namaste to WhatsApp number 9013151515.
      20. Election Commission of India permited use of indelible ink on persons for stamping for home quarantine by health authorities insight of COVID-19.
      21. Indore became 1st Indian city to use drones to sanitize city against COVID-19 Virus.
      22. Labour and Employment Ministry issued advisory under Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act 1996, to all state and UT (Union Territory) governments to provide financial aid to nearly 3.5 crore construction workers from Rs 52,000-crore construction cess collected by Labour Welfare Boards.
      23. Government announced that Testing and Treatment of Corona virus (COVID-19) will be covered under Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) Yojana, which covers expenses up to 5 Lakh.
      24. Tourism Ministry launched Stranded in India portal, to support foreign tourists stuck in India amid COVID-19 Outbreak.
      25. Technology developed by an incubatee company of Scitech Park, Pune has emerged as an effective solution for India’s fight against Covid-19 by reducing viral load of infected areas within a room significantly within an hour.
        1. DST has released Rs 1 crore to manufacture and scale up the product, under NIDHI PRAYAS program of Govt.
      26. Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched CoNTec, a Telecommunication Centre that aims to connect doctors in the country with AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences).
      27. Ministry of Power approved relief measures to provide power supply 24/7 to consumers. Govt will provide moratorium of 3 months to Discoms in order to make payments to generating companies, as non payment of dues by consumers due to lockdown has dteeroited finanes of Discoms.
      28. Govt. exempted agriculture and farming related activities from Lock Down, to protect crops and livelihood of farmers.
      29. Jharkhand government launched PRAGYAAM Mobile application, to issue e-passes to everyone associated with delivery of essential services during lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19.
      30. ICICI Lombard And BharatPe Partner To Launch COVID-19 Protection Insurance Cover for shopkeepers.
      31. Nagaland Govt launched Self Declaration COVID-19 App, which will be mandatory for any person who entered Nagaland after March 6. It is useful for tracking and surveillance of high-risk cases.
      32. Himachal Pradesh Government created a ‘HP COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’ to provide personal protection equipment to health workers and other related officials. Rajasthan police also launched a mobile app called “RajCop citizens app”
      33. Govt. allowed using 30 % District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for healthcare, screening and food distribution, to combat Covid-19 pandemic.
      34. IIT Bombay developed mobile app named ‘CORONTINE’, aiming to help tracking asymptomatic carriers and prevent spread of COVID-19.
      35. Govt has set up 11 empowered groups for ensuring a comprehensive and integrated response to Covid-19 pandemic, under Disaster Management Act 2005.
      36. Coronavirus risk-tracking app called ‘Corona Kavach’ has been launched by Government. It uses a person’s location to assess whether they are in the high-risk geographical zone or not.
      37. IIT Gandhinagar launched ‘Project Isaac’ to engage students in creative projects during COVID-19 lockdown.
      38. Saudi Arabia assured uninterrupted Liquefied petroleum gas(LPG) supply to India, during COVID-19 outbreak.
    2. Global -
      1. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide USD 4 million to help developing countries in Asia and Pacific to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
      2. World Bank announced 12 billion USD to assist countries that are grappling with economic impacts of corona virus.
      3. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Member Russia refused to make deal for cutting production, as deepest oil production cuts since 2008 financial crisis. Saudi Arabia proposed cutting production by 1.5 million barrel a day from April 2020.
      4. Indian-American Seema Verma is appointed a key member of White House Coronavirus Task Force constituted by US President Donald Trump. President Trump also signed a 8.3 Billion bill to combat spread of the Covid-19.
      5. As per UNCTAD report Global trade impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Epidemic -
        1. India has faced a trade impact of 348 million dollars due to slow down in China’s production.
        2. Most affected economies - EU (15.6 billion), US (5.8 billion), Japan (USD 5.2 billion), South Korea (USD 3.8 billion).
      6. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up response to COVID-19 pandemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments.
      7. US Reserve Bank (Federal Reserve) reduced key interest rates to 0% - 0.25%, amid slwing down economy due to COVID-19 Impact.
      8. For the first time since 1962, Iran seeked help of International Monetary Fund, to fight Corona Virus Outbreak.
      9. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $200 million to companies manufacturing and distributing medicines, and other items needed to combat novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
      10. SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Nations held a Video Conference, to formulate Strataegy for tackling novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak. India proposed an emergency SAARC Fund in this regard and contributed 10 Million USD for same.
      11. World Economic Forum creatied COVID Action Platform, as first of its kind, aiming to convene business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for COVID-19 response.
      12. Philippines became first country to suspend all financial markets, amid COVID-19 Outbreak.
      13. African Lion Military Exercise, the joint US-Africa Military Exercise has been cancelled, amid COVID-19 Outbreak.
      14. WhatsApp launched Coronavirus Information Hub globally, and donated $1 million donation to Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
      15. A New Virus called Hantavirus appeared in China, which is also deadly like Covid-19 but far less contagious.
      16. International Olympics Committee announced postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, due to COVID-19 Outbreak. This is first such postponment in 124-year history of Olympics.
      17. Noted Tennis Grand Slam Wimbeldon which was to be held in England in June 2020, has been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is cancelled for the first time since Second World War.
      18. World’s largest streaming media service Netflix formaed $100 million fund, to help workers on film and television productions that have been impacted due to global coronavirus outbreak. The fund will help cast and crew members such as electricians, carpenters, drivers and other hourly workers.
      19. Football Governing Body FIFA started a campaign to raise awareness about COVID-19 and importance of lockdowns. It has 28 acclaimed international players, Including India's Sunil Chhetri.
      20. International Monetary Fund launched IMF Policy Tracker, as a platform to provide all key economic responses launched by Governments all over the world to fight against Corona Virus.
      21. UN launched Global Humanitarian Response Plan to fight against COVID-19, allocating 2 billion USD to implement the plan.
      22. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced an AI bot called ‘Clara’ to help people assess potential symptoms of COVID-19, in partnership with Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service.
      23. Proposed / Considered Treatment Methods -
        1. US Food and Drug Administration approved use of Convalescent plasma collected from patients recovered from COVID-19 to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. Idea is to inject plasma with antibodies into critically ill patients for them to gain immunity against the virus.
        2. World Health Organization (WHO) started a mega trial namely “Solidarity” of 4 most promising drugs that may cure COVID-19 -
          1. Remdesivir - experimental antiviral compound widely used to combat Ebola and other dangerous viruses.
          2. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine - Treats malaria. Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) also recommended this.
          3. Combination of lopinavir and ritonavir - Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
          4. Ritonavir/lopinavir plus interferon-beta - Treats Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) patients.
      24. International Telecommunications Union (ITU) launched a “Global Network Resiliency Platform” to help global networks remain “safer, stronger and more connected” during COVID-19 crisis.
      25. US invoked Defence Production Act 1950, to direct General Motors to manufacture ventilators needed to fight COVID-19.
        1. The act was enacted in 1950 in response to Korean War. earlier In 2011, President Obama invoked it to force telecommunications industries to provide information related to use of foreign-manufactured hardware and software in networks of companies.
      26. US also approved largest stimulus package in US history, a $2 trillion bill intended to rescue the coronavirus-battered economy.
      27. US announced USD 174 million financial assistance to 64 most at-risk countries which include USD 2.9 million to India as support for combating coronavirus pandemic. In February 2020, USA provided 100 million aid for the same purpose.
  302. Industrial Awards (Mar 2020) -
    1. Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) VC V Praveen Rao won 7th Dr MS Swaminathan Award for 2017-2019, instituted by Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) and Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL). It carries prize of 2 lakh.
    2. PGIMER Faculty Jaimanti Bakshi won Best Citizens of India award by Global Economic Progress and Research Association.
    3. Prachi Salve of IndiaSpend and Pradeep Dwivedi of DainikJagran jointly won top prize in Road Safety Media Fellowship 2019, by Centre for Media Studies (CMS).
  303. State Govt Budgets 2020-21 -
    1. Arunachal Pradesh -
      1. Budget Size is 21880 Crores.
      2. Provision of 30 crores for enhancing farmer’s income.
      3. Chief Minister Krishi Puraskar Yojana to be launched planned to promote progressive farmers in state.
    2. Assam -
      1. Budgte size is 1,03,762 crores.
      2. Income support of 830 per month (Rs 400 for medicines and Rs 430 for vegetables and fruits) will be provided to 27 lakh families through direct benefit transfer mode.  
      3. Free rice will be provided to all beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, as part of the Anna Yojana initiative.  
      4. All households with monthly electricity consumption below 30 units will be provided free electricity.
      5. 1000 crores for covering 2 lakh youth under revised Swami Vivekananda Youth Empowerment Yojana. Seed capital of Rs 50,000 will be provided to each member.  Entrepreneurship will be introduced as a curriculum subject from Class 11 onwards.
      6. 1500 crores for acquiring additional shareholding in Numaligarh Refinery, to increase its stake from 12.35% currently to 26%.      
    3. Bihar -
      1. Budget Size is 211761 Crores.
      2. Presened a Green Budget indicating state’s spending on programmes related to environment conservation and climate change.  
      3. Krishi Yantra Banks will be established at Panchayat level.  
      4. In 2021, organic certification will be done in 21,000 acres of land.  
    4. Chhattisgarh -
      1. Budget size is 95650 crores.
      2. Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of Rs 5,100 crore for providing appropriate benefit to farmers for their produce.
      3. Tuition fees of students from state, who take admission in any of IITs, IIMs, or AIIMS, will be borne by state government.  Such graduates will be eligible for direct recruitment in government institutes of state.
      4. Mukhyamantri Suposhan Yojana will be started to eliminate malnutrition and anaemia in state, with 60 crores allocated.
      5. Priority and Antyodaya ration card holders will be eligible for cashless medical treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh. For other ration card holder families, limit is 50,000. 
    5. Delhi -
      1. Budget size is approx 65000 crores.
      2. With primay focus on education, 100 crores will be spent on creating digital classrooms.
      3. 'Delhi Darshan Scheme' to be started, with 10 crores allocated.
      4. Delhi government will implement Ayushman Bharat Yojana of Central Govt, which provides free annual health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
    6. Goa -
      1. Budget size for 2020-21 is projected at 21,056 crores, showing 7.8 % Hike compared to FY 2019-20.
      2. 1 lakh insurance cover for all cooperative societies.
      3. A labour and employment smart card for all employees in Goa to gather data on employment in the state.
      4. Goa will reconstitute state finance commission in order to oversee the utilization of funds and to support lower tiers of governance.
      5. Rs 250 crore allocated to hold the National Games 2020 in Goa.
    7. Gujarat -
      1. Budget Size is 217287 Crores.
      2. 200 Crores for Mukhya Mantri Pashudhan Sahay Yojana, aimed at providing cattle feed at concessional rate to farmers for their cattle and progeny.
    8. Haryana -
      1. Presented 142343 crores budget in state assembly for 2020-21.
      2. New category of electricity connections will be created for ‘special agriculture-based activities’ under which electricity will be supplied at a cost of Rs 4.75 per unit, instead of existing Rs 7.5 per unit.
      3. Earlier, farmers were not required to pay interest on loans of up to Rs 1.5 lakh taken from cooperative banks.  It been extended to cover loans taken by farmers from all nationalised and cooperative banks.
      4. Board examination system for class VIII students will be re-started.
    9. Himachal Pradesh -
      1. Budget size is 49131 Crores.
      2. Swaran Jayanti Poshahaar Yojana will be introduced to provide for supplementing extra nutrition food such as milk and fruit in Anganwadi and mid-day meal schemes in primary and middle schools and starting pre-primary classes in primary schools (Swasth Bachpan).
      3. Income criteria for giving land to landless/houseless persons is to enhanced from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per annum. 
      4. Minimum wage rate will be revised from Rs 250 per day to Rs 275 per day.
      5. Subsidy of Rs 2,000 per KW will be provided for executing solar projects of 250 to 500 KW capacities.
      6. Institute of Hotel Management in Dharamshala and Food Craft Institute in Sundernagar will be established.
      7. A Bill to provide for the establishment of the Himachal Pradesh Investment Promotion Agency will be introduced. 
    10. Jharkhand -
      1. Budget size is 86370 crores.
      2. Unemployment allowance of Rs 5000 & Rs 7000 to be given annually for unemployed youths who have earned bachelor & master’s degree in past 3 years & have registered with employment exchange for jobs.
      3. People are not required to pay electricity dues for 1st 100 units if they consume less than 300 units of power.
      4. Proposal to set up ‘Jharkhand Rajya Kisan Rahat Kosh’ (farmers relief fund) from this Kharif season, changing the form of ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ (PMFBY).
      5. Will introduce  Short Term Agriculture Loan Relief Yojana (Alpkaleen Krishi Rin Rahat Yojan), with 2000 Crores allocated.
    11. Jammu and Kashmir (UT) -
      1. Budget Size is 101428 Crores (Largest Ever Budget for J & K).
      2. Budget Implements Central Govt's Ayushmaaan Bharat Scheme in J & K, which was not applicable earlier.
      3. Tourism Promotion has been given 706 crores, including 3 new religious circuits -
        1. Shiv Khori-Uttar Bani-Purmandal-Mata Sukhrala Deviji
        2. Shankaracharya-Mata Khir Bhawani-Martand (Mattan)
        3. Makhdoom Sahib-Khanqah-e-Moula-Watlab-Babareshi-Pakharpora-Aishmuqam (First government-backed Sufi pilgrimage in J&K).
    12. Kerala -
      1. Budget size is 144265 crores.
      2. Tax proposals -
        1. Tax rate on motorcycles (value upto Rs 2 lakh) will be increased by 1% and on motor cars (of value upto Rs 15 lakh) will be increased by 2%.  
        2. Electric auto-rickshaws will be exempted from tax for the first five years.  
        3. The fair value of land fixed by the government will be increased by 10%.  
      3. It promises to provide meals at Rs 25 at 1,000 Kudumbashree restaurants across state.
      4. Building 1 lakh homes under LIFE mission, is also provisioned in Budget.
      5. Govt to raise Rs 2,100 crores to fund KFC (Kerala Financial Corporation) loans.
      6. All welfare pensions to be hiked by Rs 100.
      7. Local Employment Assurance Programme (LEAP) will be started to give employment to 1.5 lakh people per year through local self-government institutions.
    13. Karnataka -
      1. Budget Size is 237893 Crores.
      2. Multiple changes have been proposed to different state taxes. Including 3% increase in sales tax on petrol and diesel, reduction of stamp duty to 2% for first registration of new houses below 20 lakhs and increase in excise duty by 6% on Indian Made Liquor (IML).
      3. For the first time, state government presented a child budget, with 279 programmes involving 36340 crores proposed.
      4. Woman safety portal will be launched to ensure that all programmes of the Department of Women and Child Development are delivered in a transparent manner.
      5. 2 Saturdays in a month will be observed as bagless days, for students.
      6. 8344 crores for new Mukhyamantrigala Nava Nagaroththana, to be launched for overall development of Bengaluru city. 14500 crores for developing peripheral ring road in Bengaluru, to decongest the city.
    14. Maharashtra -
      1. Budget size is 115000 crores.
      2. Increase value-added tax (VAT) on petrol & diesel by Rs  1 per litre.
      3. Reduce electricity duty on industrial use from 9. 3% to 7.5% of consumption charges.
      4. 1% reduction in the stamp duty in Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, and municipal corporations of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Nagpur
      5. Two new schemes, Gramin Sadak Vikas Yojana and Nagari Sadak Vikas Yojana, announced for construction of roads in rural and urban areas, respectively.  1000 crore and 1501 crores allocated for these schemes, respectively.
      6. 7000 crores allocated to Mahatma Jotirao Phule Shetkari Karjamukti Yojana  for loan waiver up to 2 lakh for agriculture loan taken between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019. Five lakh solar pumps will be setup in the state over the next five years with a total outlay of 10000 crores.
    15. Manipur -
      1. Budget Size 21224 Crores.
    16. Meghalaya -
      1. Budget Size 17432 Crores.
      2. New programme for systematic periodic maintenance of roads, with a budget provision of Rs 50 crore has been launched.
      3. 2.5 crores for Meghalaya Outcome-oriented transformation in health, education, and rural development (MOTHER) program.
      4. Megha Health Insurance Scheme enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per family with no restriction on family size.
    17. Mizoram -
      1. Budget Size is 10715 Crores. It is a surplus budget of Rs. 17.73 crores.
    18. Nagaland -
      1. Budget Size is 21086 Crores.
      2. House also passed Nagaland Appropriation (No 2) Bill 2020, authorising Peoples' Democratic Alliance (PDA) government to withdraw budgetary amount from consolidated fund of state for FY 2020-21.
    19. Odisha -
      1. Presented budget 2020-21 for Rs 1.5 Lakh crores, 8 % hike as compared to 2019-20.
      2. It is Odisha's first ever paperless budget and second state in India after Himachal Pradesh.
      3. To increase income of farmers ‘Samruddha Krishi Niti-2020’ has been proposed.
      4. Odisha is 1st state to introduce Nutrition budget, Strategic budget and Climate code budget.
    20. Punjab -
      1. Presented 154805 crores budget for 2020-21.
      2. Reducing retirement age of government employees from 60 years to 58.
      3. Allocating 12488 crores for promotion of schools and higher education, Budget announced to grant free education in government schools to all students up to class 12th.
      4. Announced waiving off loans of landless farmers.
      5. 100 crores for giving 10 lakh free smartphones to youth.
      6. Fee on trade of agriculture produce on fruits and vegetables (mandi fee) will be reduced from 4% to 1%.
      7. Punjab to establish three mega industrial parks over 1,000 acres at Mattewara, Bathinda and Rajpura.
      8. Crop loans of up to Rs 2 lakh taken by small / marginal farmers / landless labourers will be waived. 2000 crores allocated.
      9. Government will provide monthly assistance of 3000 to all construction workers in their old age and 1500 per month to their spouses.
    21. Rajasthan -
      1. Budget Size 225731 Crores.
      2. Tax proposals -
        1. Stamp duty on registration fees will be exempted on transfer of sick Micro and Medium Small Enterprises.  
        2. Amnesty scheme will be launched to provide 100% waiver from interest and penalty on stamp duty for depositing stamp duty by June 30, 2020.
        3. Motor Vehicle tax will be reduced by Rs 50 per seat per month for all categories of sub-urban routes.
      3. Nirogi Rajasthan Prabandhan Kosh will be established with an allocation of Rs 100 crore for focus on prevention of diseases. Cancer Registry System will be setup for monitoring of cancer.     
      4. Capacity of 1500 sub-stations will be increased with an expenditure of Rs 2,000 crores.  An Ultra-Mega solar park will be developed in the state.
      5. Dearness Allowance (DA) has been increased from 12 per cent to 17 per cent from July 1, 2019.
    22. Sikkim -
      1. Budget Size is 9100 Crores.
    23. Tamil Nadu -
      1. Budget Size is 300390 Crores.
      2. 8156 Crores for Proposed Tamil Nadu Urban Flagship Investment Programme to support the state in developing urban and environmental infrastructure.
      3. Further, Rs 200 crore has been allocated as interest waiver for repayment of Farmer loans.  
      4. Stamp duty for rental agreements will be reduced from 1% to 0.25%.  Further, registration charges on such agreements will be reduced from 1% to 0.25% (subject to a maximum of Rs 5,000).
      5. Government will form a 'not-for-profit' Special Purpose Vehicle to finance and manage the Amma Unavagam programme.
      6. Comprehensive flood mitigation project for Greater Chennai has been proposed at a cost of 3000 crores.
    24. Telangana -
      1. Budget Size is 182914 Crores.
      2. Government will provide waiver of loans between 25000 - 1 lakh for farmers, requiring 24738 crores to be spent in four instalments. In 2020-21, an amount of Rs 6,225 crore has been allocated.
      3. Government estimated 50000 crores for development of Hyderabad over 5 years.  In 2020-21, 10000 crores allocated for Musi River purification and Musi River Front Project and other works.  
      4. 14000 crores for 'Rythu Bandhu', a flagship scheme of government, for providing investment support to farmers.
    25. Uttar Pradesh -
      1. Budget Size is 512861 Crores (Highest Among States).
      2. 100 crores for new scheme proposed to encourage youth to work as apprentices in industries by providing them apprenticeships, along with a monthly stipend.   Of total monthly stipend to be provided, 1500 will be borne by central government, 1000 by state government, and rest by employer.
      3. A new scheme, Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyaan (Yuva), is proposed with aim of making more than one lakh young trained persons self-reliant. YUVA hubs will be set up in all districts to provide financial and operational assistance to startups for a one-year period. Kaushal Satrang scheme was also launched.
      4. State NITI Aayog will be constituted to replace existing State Planning Commission.
    26. Uttarakhand -
      1. Budget Size is 53527 Crores.
      2. 2300 Crores for Krishi Utpadan Lagat Sarvekshan Yojana will be started for providing minimum support price for crops such as mandua, sanwa, urad, ghat and masoor.
      3. Salary for guest teachers in universities will be increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000.
      4. Schemes -
        1. Mukhyamantri Shikshuta Yojana will be started for learning new work-related skills in different sectors. 
        2. Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana and Mukhyamantri Palayan Roktham Yojana will be started for generating self-employment opportunities and preventing migration from state.
        3. Mukhyamantri Saubhagyaati Yojana will be started for preventing decline in sex-ratio by providing kits to mothers on birth of a girl child in first delivery.  
      5. 300 crores for establishment of a medical college in Haldwani, Almora and Doon.
      6. Pension for old-age, dependent widows and disabled to be increased from Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 1,200 per month.
    27. West Bengal -
      1. Budget Size 255677 Crores.
      2. Persons belonging to SC / ST, who are over 60 years age and not covered under any pension scheme, will be provided a monthly pension of 1000.  3000 crores allocated for this.
      3. 500 crores for new scheme, Karma Sathi Prakalpa, proposed to provide assistance to unemployed youth to help them become self-reliant.  Under this, 1 lakh unemployed youth, for next three years, will be provided soft loan and subsidy of up to two lakh rupees for taking up any new income generating project.
      4. 200 crores for New scheme to provide free electricity to poor domestic consumers.  Under this, no electricity charge will be levied on poor domestic consumers whose quarterly consumption of electricity is up to 75 units (lifeline consumers).
  304. Persons Resigned / Retired (Mar 2020) -
    1. RBI Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan resigned, before completion of his term. Other 3 RBI Deputy Governors are M. D. Patra, M. K. Jain and B.P. Kanungo.
    2. Indian Cricketer Wasim Jaffer announced retirement from all formats of cricket. He has over 19000 Runs in First Class Cricket.
    3. Maltese Footballer Andre Schembri, who plays for Chennaiyin FC in Indian Super League, announced his retirement.
    4. Microsoft founder Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft board of directors., to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities.
    5. Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath resigned, ahead of the floor test which was scheduled after several MLAs withdrew their support, led by Jyotiraditya Scindia.
    6. New Zealand Cricketer Andrew Malcolm Ellis announced his retirement.
  305. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (March 2020) -
    1. Fitch Ratings lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 2% for FY2020-21(FY21) , the 30 year low, due to global recession triggered by COVID-19 Outbreak.
      1. Due to coronavirus crisis, Fitch Ratings lowered Global Growth forecast for 2020-21 (FY21) to 1.3% from 2.5% earlier.
    2. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its report OECD Interim Economic Assessment Coronavirus: The world economy at risk, has trimmed India’s real GDP growth forecast to 5.1% for 2020-21 (FY21) . For 2021-22 (FY22) , it is projected at 5.6%.
    3. S&P Global Ratings reduced India’s economic growth forecast to 3.5 % for FY 2020-21 (FY 21).
    4. India Ratings & Research revised its 2020-21 (FY21) forecast to 3.6%, down from 5.5% earlier.
    5. CRISIL reduced India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) to 3.5 % from 5.2 % earlier.
    6. Moody’s reduced India’s GDP growth in 2020-21 (FY21) to 2.5 % from earlier estimate of 5.3 per cent. G-20 countries are expected to grow by 2.1% in 2020.
    7. Rating agency ICRA notified that India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) will grow by 2% in 2020-21 (FY 21) due to impact of COVID-19.
    8. SBI EcoWrap report expected Indian GDP Growth to be 2.6 % in 2020-21 (FY 21).
  306. Misc. Appointments (Mar 2020) -
    1. Sudhanshu Pandey appointed as new CMD of PSU MMTC.
    2. Amita Pandove appointed as Information Commissioner in Central Information Commission. Note that Bimal Julka was recently appointed Chief Information Commissioner of India.
    3. Indian-American Seema Verma is appointed a key member of White House Coronavirus Task Force constituted by US President Donald Trump.
    4. Sanjay Kumar Panda is appointed as New Indian Ambassador to Turkey.
    5. MRF’s CMD K.M. Mammen is re-elected as chairman of Automotive Tyre Manufactures’ Association (ATMA).
    6. SBI Life Insurance Company re-appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal as MD & CEO.
    7. SBI Appointed Chalasani Venkat Nageswar as deputy MD and chief financial officer (CFO).
    8. KJS Dhillon appointed as Director General of Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence).
    9. Nupur Kulshrestha became first woman to be appointed as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Indian Coast Guard.
    10. ITBP Director General Surjeet Singh Deswal has been given additional charge to serve as a Director General of Border Security Force (BSF)
    11. Actor Amitabh Bachchan signed by IDFC FIRST Bank as its First brand ambassador.
    12. Microsoft appointed Eric Horvitz as its first-ever Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
    13. UK Based Banking Group HSBC appointed Noel Quinn as its permanent CEO.
    14. US based service provider Salesforce appointed former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya to head its India operations.
    15. Karan Bajwa is appointed as Head of Google Cloud India.
    16. Rajiv Bajaj is appointed as MD & CEO of Bajaj Auto.
    17. Ravinder Singh Dhillon is appointed as CMD of PSU Power Finance Corporation (PFC).
    18. Hirdesh Kumar is appointed as new Chief Electoral Officer of UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
    19. Ajay Kumar appointed as India’s next High Commissioner to Uganda (East Africa).
    20. Sameer Aggarwal =appointed as new CEO of Walmart India, the India arm of American Retail Giant.
  307. Misc. Sports Events (Mar 2020) -
    1. Indian Badminton Players Tasnim Mir and Mansi Singh won a bronze each in girls' singles Badminton event at Yonex Dutch Junior International 2020 in Haarlem (Netherlands).
    2. Indian Men's Hockey Team ranked 4th in International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Rankings 2020, as India's best ranking ever.
    3. Sports Authority of India and Hockey India announced first edition of Khelo India Women's Hockey League Under-21, to be held in 3 phases between March to November 2020, In New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar.
    4. Badminton Asia Championships will be held in Manila (capital of Philippines), which were earlier scheduled to be held in Wuhan (China). It has been done Due to Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China.
    5. India Cricketer Shafali Verma became world number one batsman in Women’s T20I cricket. Shafali is 2nd Indian batswoman after Mithali Raj to top Women’s T20I rankings.
    6. West Indies' Cricketer Kieron Pollard became 1st player to play 500 T20 matches.
    7. Indian Sprinter Prachi choudhary suspended by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), for a doping violation.
    8. Hockey India joined 38 other national associations as a member of the World Masters Hockey (WMH). Hockey India appointed R.P. Singh as convener of Hockey India Masters Committee and Harbinder Singh as chairman of committee.
    9. American Golfer Tiger Woods elected to World Golf Hall of Fame as first member of Class of 2021.
    10. World Athletics Council fined Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) USD 10 million for breaching sport's anti-doping rules. Also, maximum 10 Russian track and field athletes will be allowed to compete at Tokyo Olympics as neutrals.
    11. Indian Female Umpires Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi named in ICC's International Panel of Development Umpires.
    12. Indian shot-putter Navin Chikara has been suspended by World athletics body’s (formerly known as International Association of Athletics Federations-IAAF) for 4 years,for using a prohibited substance.
  308. Obituaries (Mar 2020) -
    1. Joginder Singh Saini - Noted athletics coach and Dronacharya awardee.
    2. Balbir Singh Kullar - Noted hockey player and Olympic Bronze medalist.
    3. Shadakshari Settar - Noted Indian professor and scholar who conducted research in Indian archaeology, art-history and related fields.
    4. Javier Perez de Cuellar (Peru) - Former UN Chief. He served as president of UN Security Council (1973 to 1974) and UN Secretary General (1981 to 1991).
    5. Hans Raj Bhardwaj - Former Union Law Minister and Congress Leader. He also served as Governor of Kerala and Karnataka.
    6. Santu Mukhopadhyay - Noted Bengali actor.
    7. Max von Sydow -Noted Swedish actor. He was nominated twice for Oscars.
    8. Dana Zátopková - NotedCzech javelin thrower. She won Olympic javelin gold in Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and silver in Rome in 1960.
    9. Patil Puttappa - Noted Kannada writer, journalist and Rajya Sabha Member. 
    10. Jairam Kulkarni - Noted Marathi actor.
    11. Imtiaz Khan - Noted Bollywood actor.
    12. Puthussery Ramachandran -Noted poet and Malayalam scholar.
    13. Roger Mayweather - Former world boxing champion (US).
    14. Pradip Kumar Banerjee - Indian footballer.
    15. Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanthan- Noted Tamil director.
    16. Kenny Rogers - Noted American singer and Grammy Winner.
    17. Satish Gujral - Noted Indian painter, sculptor, writer and recepient of Padma Vibhushan, second-highest civilian award. He was brother of Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India (1997 - 1998).
    18. Rajyogini Dadi Janki Ji - Chief of Spiritual Movment Brahma Kumaris.
    19. Nemai Ghosh - Noted photographer & Padma Shri awardee.
    20. Albert Uderzo - Noted French Comic Artist and Co-creator of characters Asterix and Obelix.
    21. Nimmi - Noted Former Bollywood Actress.
    22. Abdul Latif - Former India footballer.
    23. Floyd Cardoz - Noted Indian-born American chef.
    24. Chandan Singh Rathore - Mahavir Chakra recipient Air Force Officer Air, whose services in 1962 war and 1971 war were impeccable.
    25. Paravai Muniyamma - Noted Tamil folk singer and actress.
    26. Joseph Lowery - Noted US civil rights leader.
  309. Misc. Corporate Events (March 2020) -
    1. Competition Commission of India approvals -
      1. Approved acquisition of up to 40 % stake in IndoStar Capital Finance by BCP V Multiple Holdings on a fully diluted basis. This clearance is through green channel, which allows automatic system for speedy approval of combinations, subject to certain conditions.
      2. Approved combination involving setting up of Mindspace REIT (REIT) by K. Raheja Corp Group and acquisition of certain equity shareholding held by selling shareholders in Target Entities by Mindspace REIT.
      3. Approved acquisition of additional equity shares in Hero FinCorp by Otter Limited and Link Investment Trust.
      4. Approved acquisition by Greenko Mauritius in Teesta Urja Limited (35 %). Target is a special purpose vehicle incorporated for implementation of 1200 MW (6 units of 200 MW each) hydro power project in North Sikkim.
      5. RBI extended regulatory restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC) Bank by another three months (Mar to June 2020.
    2. Mobile handset maker Oppo launched Kash app that will offer lending, insurance and mutual funds.
    3. Food delivery platform Zomato partnered with RBL Bank to launch Co-branded Credit Cards, powered by Mastercard.
    4. HDFC Bank partnered with airline IndiGo to launch a co-branded credit card.
    5. ICICI Prudential AMC (Asset Management Company) partnered with Saraswat Co-operative Bank, to distribute its products to Bank's Customers.
    6. Shriram Transport Finance Company signed MOU with Indian Oil Corporation, through which its customers will be offered credit limit to purchase fuel from IOCL outlets.
    7. Hyderabad Metro Rail partnered with Paytm, to launch a QR-code-based metro ticketing system. It will enable commuters to avoid queues to buy tokens at metro stations.
    8. Tata AIA Life Insurance launched Bachhpan Ka Rakshakaran in association with Non-profit Oscar Foundation, to create interest in education for under-privileged girls aged 12-16 years, by using football coaching as a medium.
    9. PhonePe tied up with ICICI Bank, to Resume its UPI Services which were disrupted after RBI had put put Moratorium on Yes Bank.
    10. PSU HIL (India) Limited (Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers) launched Customer Payment Portal to collect Online payment from its customers, in association with Union Bank of India.
    11. Paytm Payments Bank partnered with Visa to issue Visa debit cards. Upto now, Paytm PB issued Rupay Debit Cards.
    12. RBI extended validity of Authorization to Vakrangee Limited till March 31, 2021 to set up, own and operates the White Label ATMs (WLA) Business in India.
    13. Ashok Leyland acquired up to 19% additional equity shares in Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd (HLFL), the Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) part of Hinduja group.
    14. Jana Small Finance Bank launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR-based loan installment payment facility for its customers.
    15. Hindustan Unilever acquired Glenmark Pharmaceuticals's hygiene brand VWash.

Top



Advertisement