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

March 2019 Daily News Current Affairs

Home > Current Affairs > Current Affairs

  1. Mar 31, 2019
    1. General Conferences (Mar 21 - 31, 2019) -
      1. 16th meeting of the U.S.-India Counter terrorism Joint Working Group and Second session of the U.S.-India Designations Dialogue in Washington, DC, US.
      2. 16th meeting of Canada-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism and its Expert Sub-group held in Ottawa (Canada).
    2. Visits from India (Mar 21 - 31, 2019) -
      1. President Ram Nath Kovind visited Croatia (Europe), Bolivia (South America), Chile (South America)
        1. Bolivia -
          1. India and Bolivia signed 8 MoUs in fields of culture, Visa waiver arrangement for diplomats, exchange between diplomatic academiesm, mining, space, traditional medicine, establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and Bi-Oceanic Railway project.
          2. India offered USD 100 million Line of Credit to Bolivia for financing development projects. 
          3. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated plaque of the M K Gandhi Hall at Gabriel Rene Moreno University in Santa Cruz.
          4. Bolivia joined India Led International Solar Alliance by signing framework agreement on International Solar Alliance.
        2. Croatia -
          1. Its first visit by an Indian president to Croatia.
          2. India and Croatia signed 4 pacts for -
            1. Building capacity, cooperation in sports and tourism.
            2. 2 agreements to establish Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair for Sanskrit and Hindi language at the University of Zagreb.
          3. President Ram Nath Kovind was conferred with Croatia’s highest civilian order, the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav.
        3. Chile -
          1. Signed 3 MoUs in the fields of mining, culture and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
          2. Both countries have emphasized need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and extremism.
          3. India announced assistance of US $ 53,000 for the beautification of the area where Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is located, in Santiago.
    3. Shanghai (China) become world's first district using both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit network. 5G is next generation of cellular technology with download speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks.
    4. Switzerland based NRI scientist Rajendra Joshi conferred with Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award by President Ram Nath Kovind. He was among 30 awardees of  Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2019, announced in Jan 2019.
    5. State-owned GAIL India signed agreement with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for cooperation in development of solar power projects. MoU aims at building a closer strategic partnership for jointly pursuing commercial solar power projects through participation in tariff / Viability Gap Funding (VGF) based competitive bidding process.
    6. India’s fiscal deficit stood at 134.2% of the full-year revised budgeted estimate at end of February 2019. The fiscal deficit for April-February 2018-19 stood at Rs 8.51 lakh crore against revised estimate (RE) of Rs 6.34 trillion for entire year. Government aims to restricting fiscal deficit at 3.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
    7. Facebook banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platforms. Facebook will direct users who post or search content connected to these ideologies to an organization that helps people leave hate groups. Facebook was under spotlight after a suspected white supremacist broadcasted live footage of his attacks in Christchurch (New Zealand).
    8. Mercedes Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix 2019 -
      1. Formula 1 Season 2019 -
        Round Grand Prix Winner date
        1 Australian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 17 March
        2 Bahrain Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 31 March
        3 Chinese Grand Prix   14 April
        4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix   28 April
        5 Spanish Grand Prix   12 May
        6 Monaco Grand Prix   26 May
        7 Canadian Grand Prix   9 June
        8 French Grand Prix   23 June
        9 Austrian Grand Prix   30 June
        10 British Grand Prix   14 July
        11 German Grand Prix   28 July
        12 Hungarian Grand Prix   4 August
        13 Belgian Grand Prix   1 September
        14 Italian Grand Prix   8 September
        15 Singapore Grand Prix   22 September
        16 Russian Grand Prix   29 September
        17 Japanese Grand Prix   13 October
        18 Mexican Grand Prix   27 October
        19 United States Grand Prix   3 November
        20 Brazilian Grand Prix   17 November
        21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix   1 December
    9. Misc. Sports Events (Mar 2019) -
      1. Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia won gold medal in 65 kg freestyle final at Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov International wrestling tournament in Ruse (Bulgaria), defeating Jordan Olivier of USA.
      2. Boxer Deepak Singh won gold, while five others claimed silver medals in Makran Cup in Chabahar (Iran).
      3. West Indies Cricketer Chris Gayle became first batsman ever to hit 500 sixes in international cricket.
      4. Former Zimbabwe Cricket Director Enock Ikope has been banned from cricket for 10 years after ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of non-cooperation and obstruction of investigations.
      5. Iniyan Panneerselvam defeated Ukraine’s 37-year-old Grandmaster Sergey Fedorchuk in Noisiel Open chess tournament in France to become India’s 61st Grandmaster. Viswanathan Anand is India’s first Chess Grandmaster, achieving it in 1987. He is 5 time World Chess champion.
      6. Kavinder Singh Bisht won gold in 56 kg-category and Shiva Thapa won Gold in 60kg category, along with 3 silver medals, at 38th Gee Bee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki (Finland).
      7. Sailor Upamanyu Dutta won bronze in Laser Standard race for men in Laser Asian Sailing Championships, in Singapore.
      8. Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar presented with a one-of-a-kind doll by Barbie, as company celebrates its 60th anniversary. She was part of ‘Shero’ program launched in 2015 by the company.
      9. Indian cricketers Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are among 8 Indian cricketers in 2019’s ESPN World Fame 100 list, an annual list of the most famous athletes on planet. Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is at top spot, followed by basketball player LeBron James and Lionel Messi. Virat Kohli ranked 7th and Dhoni ranked 13th. Sania Mirza (93rd) is only Indian woman athlete to feature in list.
      10. China’s 2016 Olympic champion, Liu Hong, broke world record in 50 km race walk, finishing in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 15 seconds (3:59:15), at Chinese Race Walk Grand Prix in Huangshan.
      11. FIFA announced that India will host Under-17 Women's Football World Cup in 2020.
      12. Diksha Dagar became second Indian to win an event on Ladies European Tour after clinching South African Women's Open in Cape Town. Aditi Ashok was first Indian to win on Ladies European Tour, after clinching Hero Women's Indian Open in Gurugram in 2016.
      13. United World Wrestling (UWW) has taken away Junior Asian Wrestling Championship from India and asked all its affiliated federations to stop dealing with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) due to India’s diplomatic tension with Pakistan.
        1. India also lost hosting rights of junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup Tennis Matches, scheduled in April 2019. Both these competitions will now be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
      14. Afghanistan defeated Ireland to win their first ever Test Match, in Dehradun (Uttrakhand).
      15. Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals launched its first cricket academy in UK. The Star Cricket Academy based at Reeds School in Surrey joined hands with Rajasthan Royals to relaunch the facility as the ‘Rajasthan Royals Academy’.
      16. T10 cricket League is set to be played in Zayed Cricket Stadium of Abu Dhabi for the next five years, from 2019 season.
      17. FIFA imposed a lifetime ban on former Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) President Luis Chiriboga, along with fine of $1.01 million.
      18. Suresh Raina became First batsman to score 5000 runs in Indian Premier League Cricket Tournament.
      19. Denark Badminton player Joachim Persson banned for 18 months by Badminton World Federation for violating code of conduct.
      20. 2nd edition of Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships aka Tong Yun Kai Cup 2019 held in Hong Kong. China won the championship by defeating Japan.
      21. Paralympic torch unveiled by Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020). Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games mascot is Someity. Miraitowa is Official Mascot of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
      22. Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus, commonly called Oman Open table tennis held in Muscat (Oman). Indian player G Sathyan Won Bronze in men’s Singles and Archana Kamath won U-21 silver.
      23. 12th Asian Airgun Championships held in Taipei (Taiwan). India won total 25 Medals (16 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze).
      24. International Olympics Committee (IOC) gave provisional approval for inclusion of 4 events in Paris Olympics 2024 - Breakdancing, Surfing, Skateboarding and sport climbing.
    10. Industrial Awards (Mar 2019) -
      1. ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) conferred ‘Non-Life Insurer of the Year Award 2019′ to Bharti AXA General Insurance.
      2. TVS Motor Company won ‘Green Era Award for Sustainability’ at Lisbon in Portugal.
      3. PSB Indian Bank named for Best Bank Award from Tamil Nadu government for, meeting needs of women's self-help groups (SHGs).
      4. Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) won SKOCH Award 2018 for its achievements in field of disaster management, presented at 56th SKOTCH Summit at New Delhi.
      5. India's Ministry of Tourism won First Prize in category of TV Cinema Spot at international Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019 in Berlin (Germany).
      6. ACKO General Insurance received Golden Peacock Innovative Product Award 2019, for its contextual micro insurance product -“Ola Ride Insurance”. Award was Established by Institute of Directors, India in 1991.
      7. Sona Yukti, an Indian skill development institute, is honoured with Social Enterprise Network (SEN) sustainability award for education by Young Presidents Organisation, in Cape Town (South Africa).
      8. Kent RO Systems named Best Domestic Water Purifier 2018-19 for its RO+UV+UF technology,at Water Digest Water Awards in New Delhi.
      9. Former PM Manmohan Singh presented 2ndf edition of BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, for successfully introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Other Awardees -
        1. Changemaker-Social Transformation - Sridhar Vembu (founder of Zoho)
        2. Changemaker-Digital Transformation - ZMQ Development
        3. Changemaker-Financial Transformation - Bandhan Bank
        4. Young Changemaker - Srikanth Bolla
        5. Iconic Changemaker - Dr Rani Bang & Dr Abhay Bang
        6. Changemaker of the year - National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
    11. Obituaries (Mar 2019) -
      1. V Dhananjay Kumar - Former union minister, served as Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister in 1996.
      2. Andre Previn - Noted American-German composer and pianist. He was 10-time Grammy Award winner and won 4 Oscars.
      3. Zhores Alferov - Noted Russian physicist and Nobel Prize laureate. He received Nobel in Physics together with US scientists Jack Kilby and Herbert Kroemer, for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed-and optoelectronics.
      4. Bill Playle - Former New Zealand Cricketer.
      5. Jerry Merryman - American Inventor. He was a member of team at Texas Instruments that developed first pocket calculator in 1965.
      6. Daniel Rudisha - Kenyan Sprinter. He was a silver medalist in 1968 Olympics.
      7. Kelly Catlin - Noted Olympian American racing cyclist.
      8. John Richardson - Noted British art historian who wrote biography of Pablo Picasso.
      9. Manohar Parrikar - Chief Minister of Goa. He served as CM of Goa for 4 terms and also served as Defence Minister in NDA Government.
      10. CS Shivalli - Karnataka's Municipal administration Minister.
      11. Darryl D’Monte - Senior journalist and environmental activist.
      12. Chinmoy Roy - Noted Bengali actor.
      13. Dick Dale - Noted American Rock Guitarist, popularly known as King of the Surf Guitar.
      14. Haku Shah - Noted tribal and folk artist.
      15. Alan Krueger - Noted American economist. He served as chief economist under President Bill Clinton.
      16. L V Sharada Rao - Noted Kannada actress.
      17. Shahnaz Rahmatullah - Noted Bangladeshi singer, known as Shahnaz Begum.
      18. Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi - Noted folk artist, radio commentator, harmonium player, music composer and author. She hailed from Andhra Pradesh.
      19. Muni Hitruchivijayji - Noted Jain monk.
      20. Scott Walker - Noted American songwriter and producer.
      21. Bruce Yardley - Former Australian Test cricketer.
      22. Ashita - Noted Malayalam writer and poet.
      23. Valery Bykovsky - Noted Russian cosmonaut. He made first of his three flights to space in 1963.
      24. Prafulla Rajguru - Noted Veteran journalist, academician, social worker and columnist.
      25. Agnes Varda - Noted French filmmaker.
    12. Persons Retired / Resigned (Mar 2019)-
      1. Malaysia’s Tan Kim Her has stepped down from his post as India’s doubles badminton coach.
      2. Noted British Boxer James DeGale announced his retirement.
      3. South African cricketers Imran Tahir and JP Duminy announced to retire from One Day International (ODI) cricket after ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in England in June 2019. Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga also will Retire From International Cricket After 2020 T20 World Cup.
      4. Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan Resigned.
      5. Indian Cricketer VRV Singh Retired from all forms of cricket.
      6. WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Famer, Kurt Angle announced his retirement.
      7. Tsunekazu Takeda - Head of Japan’s Olympic Committee (JOC). He stepped down over corruption allegations relating to awarding of the 2020 Games to Tokyo.
      8. Gafur Rahimov - Amateur International Boxing Federation (AIBA).
      9. Jet Airways Founders Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal resigned from board of cash-strapped airline Jet Airways. With this, Naresh Goyal ceases to be Chairman. Another director Kevin Knight has also resigned.
      10. Noted Irish Mixed Martial Art (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor announced his retirement.
      11. Tim Cahill - Australian footballer.
      12. Gonzalo Higuain - Argentine footballer.
    13. Loans Signed by India (Mar 2019) -
      1. India signed $926 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to operationalize 2 lines of Mumbai Metro Rail System that will ease distress of millions of commuters each day.  It will also reduce emissions from vehicles, with carbon dioxide emissions expected to fall by about 166,000 tons a year.
      2. India (Central and Uttarakhand Govt) signed $96 Million Loan Agreement to provide additional funds to Uttarakhand in its post-disaster recovery plans, ongoing since floods of 2013, as well as strengthen its capacity for Disaster Risk Management. 
      3. India (Central and Chhattisgarh Govt) signed $25.2 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank to support State’s Reforms in Expenditure Management. This will cover Expenditure Planning, Investment Management, Budget Execution, Public Procurement and Accountability.
      4. India signed $250 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank for National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) which will help women in rural households shift to a new generation of economic initiatives by developing viable enterprise for farm and non-farm products.
        1. Key Focus will be to promote women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm enterprises across value chains; enable them to build businesses that help them access finance, markets and networks; and generate employment.
        2. NRETP is additional financing to $500 million National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) approved by World Bank in July 2011. 
      5. World Bank approved $328 Million Loan to Andhra Pradesh for a project aimed at strengthening state's overall healthcare systems, Titled AP Health Systems Strengthening Project (APHSSP).
      6. India signed $26 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program.
      7. World Bank approved Loan Agreement of $137 Million for Additional Financing for Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) that will help rehabilitate over 220 selected large dams Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.  This $137 Million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan has final maturity of 16 years.
        1. In 2010, World Bank approved $350 million to finance Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project to improve the safety and sustainable performance of over 220 selected dams in India. 
    14. Misc. Appointments (Mar 2019) -
      1. Ajay Narayan Jha joined Fifteenth Finance Commission as a Member. 15th Finance Commission was constituted in November 2017 under Chairmanship of N. K. Singh to decide formula for devolution of revenue between Centre and States, for 5 years (April, 2020 to March, 2025.
      2. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has been re-elected as president of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for eighth term. Randhir Singh appointed as chairman of Coordination Committee of 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games by General Assembly of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
      3. Hasmukh Adhia appointed as non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda.
      4. Indian American Medha Narvekar appointed as Vice President and Secretary of University of Pennsylvania in USA.
      5. Railways appointed S.S.Srinivas as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for newly formed South Coast Railway Zone at Visakhapatnam.
      6. Citibank named Ashu Khullar as Chief of Its India Operaions.
      7. President approved appointment of Hasmukh Adhia as chancellor of Gujarat Central University.
      8. Jammu and Kashmir administration approved appointment of E Sreedharan (Known as Metro Man) as principal advisor to two mass rapid transit systems to be built in Jammu and Srinagar.
      9. Election Commission of India made several appointments in states, to overlook lawfulness during upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 -
        1. Shailendra Handa as special expenditure observer in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
          1. Special Observers will be monitoring work being done by electoral machinery and ensure that stringent action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all entities  trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.
        2. Madhu Mahajan as special expenditure observer in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
        3. K K Sharma as Special Central Police Observer for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
        4. Vivek Dube appointed as Central Police Observer for West Bengal and Jharkhand.
        5. Mrinal Kanti Das as Special Central Police Observer for Tripura and Mizoram.
        6. Gopal Mukherjee as Special Expenditure Observer for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
        7. D.D.Goel as Special Expenditure Observer for Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. 
        8. Paralympic high jump Silver Medalist Girish Gowda is appointed as ambassador for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Karnataka.
        9. Transgender social activist Gauri Sawant appointed as one of 12 election ambassadors from Maharashtra. She is the first transgender election ambassador.
      10. KVS Manian and Gaurang Shah appointed as Kotak Mahindra Bank’s whole-time directors.
      11. Indian fashion designer Ritu Beri has been appointed as Cultural and Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India.
      12. K.M. Mammen elected as chairman of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA).
      13. Payments platform PhonePe appointed Bollywood Actor Aamir Khan as its brand Ambassador.
      14. Tata Group Firm Tata Coffee appointed Chacko Purackal Thomas as MD and CEO.
      15. Karur Vysya Bank appointed N S Srinath as Non-Executive Independent Chairman for 3 years.
      16. Misc. Defence Appointments -
        1. Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon appointed as new commander-in-chief of Strategic Forces Command.
        2. Rajesh Pendharkar as Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area.
        3. Radm Mahesh as Flag Officer Commanding Karnataka Area.
        4. Suraj Berry as Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
        5. Sanjay Jasjit Singh appointed as chief of Western Fleet of Indian Navy, the 'Sword Arm'. Also, Krishna Swaminathan appointed as Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) in Indian Navy.
        6. R Nambiar appointed as chief of Western Air Command, while RD Mathur took charge of Eastern Air Command.
      17. New Indian Envoys Appointments -
        1. Abhay Thakur - Benin (West Africa).
        2. Pranay Kumar Verma - Vietnam.
        3. Ausaf Sayeed - Saudi Arabia.
        4. Manpreet Vohra - Mexico.
        5. B. S. Mubarak - El Salvador.
        6. Kishan Dan Dewal - Armenia.
        7. Shambhu S Kumaran - Kingdom of Morocco.
        8. Anurag Bhushan - Malawi.
        9. Ms. Padmaja - Fiji.
        10. Santosh Jha - Uzbekistan.
      18. Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman Justice D K Jain (retd) will now also serve as Ethics Officer of BCCI.
      19. K. Govindaraj re-elected as president of Basketball Federation of India (BFI).
      20. Kenichi Ayukawa appointed as MD and CEO of Maruti Suzuki for his 3rd 3-year term.
      21. Vijay Chandok has been appointed as MD and CEO of ICICI Securities.
    15. State Budgets 2019 - 20 (Mar 2019) -
      1. Maharashtra -
        1. State Govt. presented interim budget for 2019-20 with estimated deficit of Rs 19,784 crores, with expected expenditure of 334,273 crores.
        2. Provision of 1500 crores made for state government's flagship Jalyukt Shivar scheme.
        3. A new scheme called 'Nav Tejaswini' announced for rural women entrepreneurs.
      2. Meghalaya
        1. Meghalaya Govt. presented Interim Budget 2019-20, with fiscal deficit of 1323 croress. Expenditure is estimated at 15786 crores.
  2. Mar 30, 2019
    1. India and US signed agreement to Statement of Guiding Principles (SGP) on triangular cooperation for global development to facilitate with a framework to promote bilateral cooperation to meet developmental ambitions of partner countries, particularly in Asia and Africa.
    2. US Electric Car Maker Tesla has developed its ‘largest power storage system in Asia’ at Osaka train station in Japan to reduce energy demand and provide emergency backup power to trains in Japan. This 7 megawatt-hours (MWh) system is also 4th largest in greater Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
    3. RBI has set average base rate to be charged from borrowers by Non- Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and Micro Finance institutions (MFI) at 9.21% for the first quarter (April to June).
      1. RBI declares average base rates on the last working day of every quarter.
      2. Average base rate charged by 5 largest commercial banks is used to calculate base rate for NBFC and MFI.
    4. 2nd joint logistics node of tri-services become operational at naval base in Mumbai (Maharashtra) to enhance interoperability, improve maintenance of military assets and provide logistical support to all the defence services. In 2018, first joint logistics node (JLN) was set up at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    5. As per report Mind the Gap – the state of employment in India by Oxfam India -
      1. Gender wage gap in India is highest among Asian nations, women are paid 34 percent less compared to men for performing the same job and with same qualifications.
      2. In India, low participation of women in labour force is 27 % which is the lowest among BRICS and G20 countries.
    6. RBI received huge response for introducing a $5-billion swap facility for the banks to facilitate permanent liquidity support.
      1. To ease liquidity crunch, RBI will buy dollars from banks for 3 years and offer them rupees in return, which will bulk up RBI’s foreign-exchange reserves while injecting cash into banking system.
      2. Banks offered $16.31 billion at auction against notified amount of $5 billion for rupee-dollar swaps. Out of this $16.31 billion received via 240 offers, RBI accepted $5.02 billion via 89 offers.
    7. A multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group (MDTMG) has been set up by the Government to ensure synergized and collective action against terror financing and terror-related activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Additional director general of police (ADGP) CID of JK Police will head the group.
    8. Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited became first Indian Shipyard to make and deliver 100 warships, which it has delivered to Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Mauritius Coast Guard. Its 100th Warship is a Landing Craft Utility, L-56, made for Indian Navy.
    9. Zuzana Caputova became First female to be appointed as president of Slovakia (Central Europe), after she won elections for the same.
    10. Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar has been notified by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, aligned with Niti Aayog’s proposal for holistic development in Islands.
      1. Government is planning to open the blue economy and sustainable utilizing of ocean resources.
      2. Eco-tourism projects are allowed at 20 meters from high tide line (HTL) in smaller islands and at 50 meters for larger islands from the HTL.
      3. It permits eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone (ICRZ) IA.
      4. This new notification replaces IPZ notification of 2011.
      5. It brings norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for other islands.
    11. South Korea won 28th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup 2019, defeating India in Penalty Shootout. It was held in Ipoh (Malaysia).
    12. As per London-based wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal, Dhanbad (Jharkhand) is best city in India in terms of 4G availability. Ranchi (Jharkhand) is 2nd and Srinagar (JK) is 3rd. Top Tier cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata did not make it to top 10.
    13. Filmmaker from Assam, Rima Das  joined Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)’s ‘Share Her Journey’ as its official ambassador. TIFF launched this 5-year campaign in 2017 with a view to increase participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of camera.
    14. SEBI exempted government from making an open offer for shareholders of Punjab National Bank, but directed reduction in non-public shareholding in PNB, post capital infusion.
      1. PNB had earlier filed an application to SEBI, on behalf of central government, seeking exemption from open offer requirement under takeover regulations. After capital infusion in lieu of preferential allotment of over 80.2 crore shares, government's stake in PNB would rise by 5.19 % to 75.41 %.
      2. Under SEBI norms, entities are required to make an open offer in case their shareholding goes beyond a certain threshold.
    15. RBI enhanced investment limit for FY2019-20 for foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in Central government securities (G-Secs) to 6 % of outstanding stock of securities from 5.5 % in FY2018-19.
      1. Limit for FPI investment in State development loans (SDLs) and corporate bonds is unchanged at 2 % and 9 % of outstanding stocks.
    16. Finance Ministry kept interest rates unchanged on small savings schemes for Quarter beginning April 1, 2019.
      1. This covers small-saving schemes such as Post Office Saving Accounts, Post Office Time Deposits, the National Saving Certificates (NSC), the Public Provident Fund (PPF), the Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) and Sukanya Samriddhi.
      2. Interest rates are -
        1. National Saving Certificates (5 years) - 8 %
        2. Public Provident Fund (PPF) (15 years) - 8 %
        3. KVP (Kisan Vikas Patra) - 7.7 % and matures in 112 months. Money deposited in KVP will double in little over nine years.
        4. Five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme - 8.7 %.
        5. Interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4 per cent annually.
        6. Girl child savings scheme Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana - 8.5 per cent.
        7. Term deposits of 1-5 years will fetch interest rate in range of 7-7.8 per cent, paid quarterly.
        8. 5 year recurring deposit - 7.3 %.
    17. BNP Paribas Cardif sold its 5 crore shares in SBI Life Insurance for Rs 2,889 crores. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture life insurance company between SBI and French multinational bank BNP Paribas Cardif.
    18. Mar 30 is Rajasthan Day. Rajasthan, earlier known as Rajputana came into existence on March 30, 1949. Before Independence, It comprised of around 21 princely states.
  3. Mar 29, 2019
    1. Google formed an eight-member Advanced Technology External Advisory Council that will examine the ethical challenges related to artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.
    2. A hyper-local connectivity app called “Bhonga” has been developed by Mumbai-based Company Linkus Infratech, to connect users to their neighborhood people in the city even without an Internet connection. “Bhonga” is a Marathi word which means megaphone or loudspeaker.
    3. Assam Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu launched Enajori initiative in Guwahati, as a special initiative for persons with disabilities with an aim that ‘No Voter to be Left behind’. Under this, mapping of PwDs will be done, to facilitate PwD voters for barrier-free and inclusive accessible elections.
      1. Also, Mobile App ‘Sankalp’ has been developed by Assam’s Bongaigaon district administration team, to encourage first time voters.
    4. Reliance Jio acquired Mumbai-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform Haptik for over INR 200 crores.
    5. Punjab National Bank (PNB) sold 13 % stake in its housing finance arm, PNB Housing Finance (PNBHFL) to General Atlantic Group and Varde Partners for Rs 1,851 crore at Rs 850 per share.
    6. Wipro and IIT Kharagpur signed MoU to collaborate on high-impact, industry-focused applied research in the areas of 5G and AI, aimed at developing solutions for its customers, across industry verticals.
    7. European Parliament voted to ban single-use plastic products. vote by MEPs (Members of European Parliament) strengthens way for prohibiting single-use plastics to come into force by 2021 in all EU member states.
      1. By 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content, and by 2029, 90% of them should be recycled.
    8. UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual ‘State of the Climate Report’ -
      1. It highlights record sea level rise, as well as exceptionally high land and ocean temperatures over past four years.
      2. As per the report, carbon dioxide levels, which were at 357.0 parts per million when the statement was first published in 1994, keep rising to 405.5 parts per million in 2017.
      3. Last four years were warmest on record, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at record levels and rising, and a global average sea level rise of 3.7 millimetres in 2018 outstripped average annual increase over past three decades.
      4. Global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline. Global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above pre-industrial baseline.
      5. Climate indicators in WMO report -
        1. Ocean heat - 2018 saw new records for ocean heat content in upper 700 metres (data record started in from 1955) and upper 2000m (data record started in  2005), topping previous record set in 2017.
        2. Sea level continues to rise at an accelerated rate.  Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) for 2018 was around 3.7 millimetres higher than in 2017 and highest on record. Over January 1993 to December 2018, average rate of rise is 3.15 ± 0.3 mm yr-1 while estimated acceleration is 0.1 mm yr-2.
        3. Ocean acidification - In the past decade, the oceans absorbed around 30% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Absorbed CO2 reacts with seawater and changes the pH of the ocean, known as ocean acidification.
        4. Sea ice - Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average throughout 2018 and was at record-low levels for first two months of year.
    9. RBI allowed non-residents to participate in rupee interest rate derivatives market, to deepen rupee interest rate swap (IRS) market. NRIs can now undertake rupee interest rate derivative transactions on recognised stock exchanges, electronic trading platforms and over the counter markets (OTCs). Foreign portfolio investors, collectively, can transact in interest rate futures up to a limit of net long position of Rs 5,000 crore. 
      1. RBI observed that when rupee interest rate swap market was most liquid among interest rate derivatives market, it lacked depth to enable large banks to manage risks. Also, Indian market has witnessed increasing participation from non-resident players like FPIs in debt.
      2. Interest-rate derivative is a financial instrument with a value that increases and decreases based on movements in interest rates.
      3. Interest Rate Swap (IRS) is a financial contract between two parties exchanging or swapping a stream of interest payments for a notional principal amount on multiple occasions during a specified period. Such contracts generally involve exchange of a `fixed to floating’ or floating to floating rates of interest.
    10. RBI will issue guidelines within 2 months for fintech companies to test their new products on a small group of users before scaling up, called regulatory sandbox. It will help fintech companies to launch innovative products at a lower cost and in less time and enable fintech companies to conduct live or virtual testing of their new products and services.
      1. Regulatory sandbox allows for experimenting with their products and fintech solutions. In case of failure, the consequences would be contained and the reasons will be analysed for betterment.
    11. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) acquired majority (52.63%) stake in REC Ltd by transferring Rs 14,500 crore to government, making PFC second-largest government-owned financial player in country after State Bank of India (SBI). PFC will be third-highest profit-making financial Firm in India.
    12. Hyderabad-based pharma Laurus Labs partnered with Global Fund for a period of 3.5 years, giving Laurus Labs volume commitments for drugs from Global Fund for treatment of HIV/AIDS.
      1. Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in 2002 to raise, manage and invest the world’s money to respond to three of deadliest infectious diseases.
    13. Tashigang, a small Himachal Pradesh village got noted as highest polling station in world, at altitude of 15,256 feet. Polling station covers two villages— Tashigang and Gete.
    14. Indian IT Firm Infosys accquired 75 % equity stake in Starter N.V., a subsidiary of Dutch-based ABN AMRO Bank for Rs 999 crore ($144 million).
    15. UN Security Council passed first-ever resolution ordering members to enforce laws against terror financing, demanding all nations to ensure that their domestic laws and regulations establish serious criminal offenses, to collect financial resources to terrorist groups or individual criminals.
  4. Mar 28, 2019
    1. Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) became first Indian port operator to achieve a new record of handling 200 million tonnes (MT) cargo movement, achieving it before target time span of till 2020. Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has 10 ports and terminals, which represent 24 % of country’s total port capacity.
    2. Yoshua Bengio (Canadian), Geoffrey Hinton (English Canadian), and Yann LeCun (French) have been recognized with Turing Award 2018, noted as Nobel Prize of computing. The $1 million annual prize recognized their work for developing the AI (Artificial intelligence) subfield of deep learning.
      1. Turing Award was Initiated in 1966, named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing, whose work laid the foundation for computer science and artificial intelligence.
    3. Indian economist Amartya Sen has been honoured with Bodley Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the University of Oxford’s world-famous Bodleian Libraries for his contribution in literature, culture, science, and communication.
      1. In 1998, Amartya Sen awarded Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in welfare economics and social choice theory.
    4. Delhi government school teacher Manu Gulati has been honoured with Martha Farrell award for Excellence in Women’s Empowerment 2019 in Most Promising Individual category, with prize money of INR 1,50,000 for promoting gender quality and women’s empowerment.
    5. Indian Green Building Council(IGBC) awarded Gold Rating to Vijayawada railway station, which is known as the busiest railway junctions in India for Green Measures. It was ranked 4th for cleanliness among A-1 category stations.
      1. IGBC-CII (Confederation of Indian Industry)developed Green Railway Stations Rating System, to help adoption of green concepts, which minimizes adverse environmental impact due to station operation and maintenance.
    6. Telangana government launched a digital business networking portal for Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs – Telangana State GlobalLinker ( It will digitise over 2.3 million SMEs of the State which would connect them to the global economy.
    7. Perth (Western Australia) will no longer host Hopman Cup Tennis. Also, this mixed tournament format will be replaced with an all men’s event called ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Cup, Played across three cities - Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
    8. Indian social entrepreneur Neha Upadhyaya is among 16 persons selected by Yale University (US) as 2019 World Fellows. She founded GUNA Organics in 2014 that provides ethically-sourced organic food products grown by rural female Indian farmers.
    9. Book Indian Fiscal Federalism written by Y. V. Reddy (former RBI Governor and Chairman of 14th  Finance Commission of India), has been released.
    10. Ministry for Health and Family Welfare notified Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules 2019, to promote clinical research in country.
      1. New rules reduce time for approving applications to 30 days for drugs manufactured in India and 90 days for those developed outside country. In case of no communication from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) within this time frame, application will be deemed to have been approved.
      2. DCGI has waived off clinical trial for drugs approved and marketed in European Union, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan and US.
    11. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan launched blockchain based coffee e-marketplace, aimed to help help integrate farmers with markets in a transparent manner and lead to realisation of fair price for coffee producer,. by reduce number of layers between coffee growers and buyers.
      1. Stakeholders like coffee farmers, traders, coffee curers, exporters, rosters, importers and retailers register on the platform to make trade transactions.
      2. A block is created for each of the lot the farmer sells on the Blockchain. The credentials of the block/ lot will be stored on the Blockchain throughout its journey and are immutable.
  5. Mar 27, 2019
    1. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test “Mission Shakti” from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (earlier, Wheeler island) in Odisha, taking 3 minutes.
      1. This is India’s first successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test.
      2. Target was hit by the DRDO developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile, in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a “Hit to Kill” mode at a height of 300 km from earth’s surface. A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit with an altitude of 2,000 km or less
      3. A-SAT capability has so far only been been demonstrated by 4 countries - United States, Russia, China and India.
      4. Mission Shakti does not violate 1967 Outer Space Treaty of which India is a signatory. The treaty prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.
    2.  Inaugural edition of Africa-India Joint Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX-19) between Indian Army and 16 African nations conducted in Pune (Maharashtra). AFINDEX-19 aims to train the participating contingents in Humanitarian Mine Assistance (HMA) and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) under United Nations Charter through practical and comprehensive discussions and tactical exercises.
    3. Cabinet Aprovals (Mar 27, 2019) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved continuation of Biomedical Research Career Programme (BRCP), and Wellcome Trust (WT) /  DBT India Alliance beyond its initial 10-year term (2008-09 to 2018-29) to a new five year phase (2019-20 to 2023-24) with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) increasing its commitment to two times that of WT. Total financial implication will be Rs. 1092 crore with DBT and WT contributing Rs.728 crore and Rs.364 crore respectively.
          1. Over its 10 years of funding in a 1:1 partnership, Programme has fulfilled its objectives of building and nurturing talent of highest global standards in cutting-edge biomedical research in India, which has led to important scientific breakthroughs and applications to meet societal needs.
        2. Approved creation of additional posts of 3 Judicial Members and 3 Technical Members in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), in Level 17 (Rs.2,25,000/- fixed) plus allowances.
      2. MOUs -
        1. Croatia - Tourism.
        2. Morocco - Cooperation on youth matters.
        3. Argentina - Antarctic cooperation.
        4. Morocco - MOU to promote exchange of information and technical cooperation in the field of Housing and Human Settlement.
        5. Saudi Arabia - Housing.
        6. South Korea - Startup Cooperation.
    4. Indian IT Firm Infosys signed 3 year strategic technology partnership with Organizing Committee of Roland-Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament, also called the French Open, to re-imagine tennis experience for fans and the players globally.
    5. Veselin Matic (Serbia) has been appointed as national men’s basketball team coach by Basketball Federation of India.
    6. Azali Assoumani is re-elected as President of Comoros (island country in Indian Ocean).
    7. Singapore's Changi Airport named as world's best aviation hub for 7th time in a row, with New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport featured at number 59, according to Skytrax World Airport Awards.
    8. A MoU on India-Africa Health Sciences Cooperation signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and African Union has been signed, to carry forward the strategic vision of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) III through a structured and concrete partnership in the health sector.
      1. First India-Africa Health Sciences Meet was held in 2016 in New Delhi, Following deliberations in this Meet, it was decided to establish an India-Africa Health Sciences Collaborative Platform (IAHSP).
    9. IIT Delhi have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based electronic hardware system to detect malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasite, and cervical cancer in milliseconds, using nanotechnology to curtail size of the device.
    10. Supreme Court threatened to slap punitive order against RBI for not adhering to its earlier order on making its bank inspection report public.  SC stated that it may initiate contempt proceedings against RBI for not disclosing annual inspection report of various banks under transparency law. SC bench was hearing three petitions filed concerning the same.
    11. European Parliament (EU) passed controversial EU copyrights law, expected to aid traditional media to gain some additional revenue, which was losing against online platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook. The law is controversial because of -
      1. Article 11, dubbed as “link tax”, which mandates Internet giants like Facebook and Google to pay news organisations to use their headlines on their platforms.
      2. Article 13, dubbed as “upload filter”, mandates online platforms to restrict users from sharing unlicensed copyrighted material. It also makes online platforms liable for copyright violations.
        1. Those backing it argue that it would go a long way in safeguard quality journalism by combating misinformation and fake news.
        2. Those opposing it fear that it would lead to clamp down on open internet and online censorship.
        3. Experts say that even though the two decade copyright law is improved it may lead to uncertainties and may hurt Europe’s creative and digital economies.
    12. Global Energy & CO2 Status Report released by International Energy Agency (IEA) -
      1. China, US and India accounted for 70 % of rise in energy demand and energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3 % last year.
      2. India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of CO2 in 2018, increase of 4.8% from last year.
      3. Natural gas was the fuel of choice and it witnessed biggest gains accounting for 45 % of rise in energy consumption.
      4. Demand for all fuels increased and nearly 70 % of demand growth was met through fossil fuels.
      5. Solar and wind generation witnessed a double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31 %.
      6. Global energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 1.7 % to 33 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018. Coal use in power generation surpassed 10 Gt and accounted for a third of the total increase.
      7. China remains leader in renewables, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and the US.
    13. Multi-dimensional Poverty Index 2018 report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative -
      1. About India -
        1. India has reduced its poverty rate greatly from 55% to 28% in 10 years, with 271 million people moving out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16. India still had 364 million poor in 2015-16, largest for any country, although it is down from 635 million in 2005-06.
        2. 80% of ST members were poor in 2005-06 and 50% of them were still poor in 2015-16. While 60% of Muslims were poor in 2005-06, 31% of them were still poor in 2015-16.
        3. 4 poorest states - Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
        4. Jharkhand shown greatest improvement, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland.
      2. Globally -
        1. 3 billion People live in multidimensional poverty in the 105 developing countries and represents 23% of population of these countries.
        2. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and two regions with 83% (more than 1.1 billion) of all multidimensionally poor people in world.
    14. Pentagon authorised transfer of USD 1 billion to begin building a new wall along US-Mexico border, as First transfer under national emergency declared by President Trump to bypass Congress and build border wall President Trump had pledged during his 2016 election campaign.
      1. This proposed border wall between US and Mexico is designed to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US through the porous borders. At present, there is 650 miles of barrier along the border which is 1,900 miles long.
      2. President Trump plans to build a 1,000-mile wall made out of steel to prevent people from crossing the US-Mexico border.
    15. Facebook has launched two new India-specific tools viz. “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” to boost civic engagement on its platform during Lok Sabha elections 2019, available in 12 local languages.
      1. Candidate Connect will provide contesting candidates to upload 20-second videos in which they can introduce themselves and highlight how they will address outstanding challenges in their constituencies if elected to office.
      2. Share You Voted feature will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate fact that they have voted.
    16. Bank of Baroda has developed an agri-digital platform called ‘Baroda Kisan’ to provide solutions for all major agricultural requirements, in association with 6 companies - Skymet Weather Services, Weather Risk Management Services, BigHaat, Agrostar India, EM3 Agri Services and Poorti Agri Services.
      1. It aims to provide a holistic approach towards solving agricultural plights by means of providing reliable and customised information, inputs for use, convenience of renting farm equipment and market linkage for sale of agri-produces.
      2. Its part of BOB’s initiative use technology in agriculture and provide a dedicated platform for farmers to ease their requirements.
    17. Mar 27 - World Theatre Day.
    18. MA Hampiholi has been appointed as Director General Naval Operations in Indian Navy.
    19. India and USA signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for Exchange of Country-by-Country (CbC) Reports. This will enable both countries to automatically exchange CbC Reports filed by ultimate parent entities of Multinational Enterprises (“MNEs”) in respective jurisdictions, pertaining to years commencing on or after 1st January, 2016.
      1. It would also obviate need for Indian subsidiary companies of US MNEs to do local filing of the CbC Reports, thereby reducing the compliance burden.
      2. India has already signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for Exchange of CbC Reports, which has enabled exchange of CbC Reports with 62 jurisdictions.
        1. A CbC Report has aggregated country-by-country information relating to global allocation of income, taxes paid, and certain other indicators of an MNE group. It also contains a list of all constituent entities of an MNE group operating in a particular jurisdiction and nature of business activity of each constituent entity.
        2. MNE groups having with revenue over 750 Million Euros or more in a year are required to file CbC Reports in their parent entity’s jurisdiction.
  6. Mar 26, 2019
    1. 6th Edition of Indo Sri Lanka Joint Army Exercise Mitra Shakti began in Sri Lanka.
    2. First Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Makalu (8485m) has been flagged off. It is located in Mahalangur Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet (China).
    3. Indian Navy Participated 15th edition of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-19) in Malaysia, with INS Kadmatt, along with 29 other participating navies. Indian Air Force also participated in LIMA 2019, as its first participation in LIMA.
    4. Goldman Sachs Reported that Food inflation in India will go up to 2% in fiscal year 2019-20 from the 0.7% estimated for FY19.
    5. World’s largest e-waste recycling plant opened in Dubai, by ‘Enviroserv’, with total cost of $5 million. It will recycle Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialized waste. The processing capacity of this recycling hub is 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste (per year), of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste.
    6. Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to launch a new credit card called Apple Card, that can be used along wallet app of iPhone. This virtual credit card will replace the traditional credit card with the smart and secure one.
    7. Researchers at the GRAPES-3 muon telescope facility in Ooty (Tamil Nadu) have measured a thunderclouds electrical potential, size, and height which was passed overhead on 1st December 2014. This will help prevent short circuits in aeroplanes. Thunderstorms can reach voltages ten times greater than those previously recorded which was 1.3 billion volts.
    8. RBI has put penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations. Recently, RBI had put penalties worth Rs 71 crore on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance with various directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT operations.
    9. Researchers from Australian Antarctic Program has discovered a network of lakes beneath Totten Glacier, the largest glacier in East Antarctica. This considerable amount of water found in these lakes could impact the predicted rise of the sea level by about seven meters.
    10. Mar 26 - Epilepsy Awareness Day (commonly known as World Purple Day), observed to encourage people to wear the colour to increase awareness of Epilepsy.
    11. Ministry of Textiles has started Yarn bank, a first of its kind in Karnataka, to help thousand of weavers at the Mysore Powerloom Silk Manufacturers Cooperative Society by ensuring steady supply of silk yarn and zari. Currently, the weavers from southern Karnataka have to source yarn locally through agents and wholesalers.
    12. Pakistan approved establishing a corridor which would allow Hindu pilgrims from India to visit Sharda Peeth in the region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). It will be second corridor to be established after Kartarpur Corridor which provides access to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.
      1. Sharda Peeth is an abandoned Hindu temple and ancient centre of learning in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), dedicated to goddess Sharada, Hindu goddess of learning. Goddess Sharada is Kuldevi of Kashmiri pandits.
      2. Sharada Peeth is also revered as one of 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or “Grand Shakti Peethas” which commemorates the location of fallen body parts of the Hindu deity Sati.
    13. Consortium of State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd (BPRL), Urja Bharat Pte Ltd has acquired an oil block in Abu Dhabi, where the two will invest USD 170 million. Urja Bharat Pte Ltd has been awarded 100 % stake in Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1 Concession. Both IOC and BPRL hold 50 % each in Urja Bharat Pte Ltd.
    14. Indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has been inducted into Indian Army. In February 2018 Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) received clearance for manufacturing of 114 Guns. Now, Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) Jabalpur has made ready 6 Dhanush guns for issuance to Army.
      1. Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun, as upgraded version of Swedish 155-mm Bofors howitzers. It has strike range of 38 kilometres which is about 10 km better than the Bofors guns.
    15. India's Accord Group and Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas began construction of an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, with investment of USD 3.85 billion, jointly funded by Oman and Singapore registered Silver Park International (owned by India's Accord Group). Its the single largest foreign investment in Sri Lanka's history.
      1. 2,00,000 barrel-per-day refinery will be built on 585 acres near the site of the new Hambantota International Port and a related industrial zone on the Sri Lanka's southern coast.
      2. This will be the first oil refinery in Sri Lanka after the Sapugaskanda oil refinery that was set up in 1967.
      3. Project is expected to be completed in 44 months and it will generate 10,000 direct employment 
  7. Mar 25, 2019
    1. 3rd Exercise Al Nagah III, bilateral joint exercise between India and Oman held at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman.
    2. Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by US has defeated the Daesh [ISIS] by capturing the final shred of the territory of Baghouz in Syria. The forces have declared the end of the self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.
    3. Kenyan Teacher Peter Tabichi won Global Teacher Prize 2019, for his achievements in a deprived school. Peter Tabichi is a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village in a remote part of Kenya. He gives away 80% of his income to help poorest students at poorly-equipped and overcrowded school who could not afford uniforms and books.
      1. Award was constituted in 2015 by Varkey Foundation and the winners are awarded a US $1 million award.
    4. UAE government launched Lose to Win Programme to assist the overweight employees in shedding extra kilos and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
    5. Political Party Indian National Congress announced minimum income guarantee scheme called Nyay for poorest 20 % of families if voted to power. 20 % of families who earn below Rs 12000 monthly will be given Rs 72000 annually. Although economists quashed possibilities of such a scheme saying that its not commercially viable.
    6. First batch of 4 Boeing (US) heavy-lift Chinook Helicopters, CH-47F (I) inducted in Indian Air Force (IAF), to boost airlift capabilities of IAF and work along with Russian machines Mi-17 and Mi-26 helicopters. Remaining 11 Chinook helicopters are expected to be delivered by 2023. These helicopters have airlift capability of 10 tonnes.
    7. Norway’s capital Oslo will become the world’s first city to install wireless induction-based fast-charging systems for electric taxis, allowing taxis to charge for up to 75 kilowatts.
    8. Mar 25 is observed as International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members AND International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
    9. RBI appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to strengthen digital payments as well as to boost financial inclusion through Financial Technology. This was announced during first event of Financial Technology (Fintech) Conclave organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi recently.
  8. MAR 24, 2019
    1. Mar 24 - World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. 2019 Theme is It’s time. Mar 24 is also observed as International Day for Achievers (IDA).
    2. Italy’s new Earth-observation satellite named PRISMA (Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa) launched from Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana (South America). PRISMA is designed to take medium resolution photos to give information about environmental monitoring, natural resources, pollution and crop health.
    3. 2019 Lingshui China Masters Badminton Title -
      1. Men's Singles - Weng Hongyang (China)
      2. Women's Singles - Kim Ga-eun (South Korea)
      3. Men's Doubles - Chinese Taipei's Lee Jhe-huei AND Yang Po-hsuan
      4. Women's Doubles - South Korea's Baek Ha-na AND Kim Hye-rin
      5. Mixed Doubles - Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man AND Ng Tsz Yau
    4. Book Every Vote Counts written by Former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla has been released.
    5. P K Mishra is appointed as acting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh HC, after previous Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court A K Tripathi joined as as a Member of Newly Formed Lokpal.
    6. Italy joined China’s signature foreign policy Belt and Road initiative (BRI), becoming first G7 country to do so.
    7. Canara Bank launched a bond issuance programme through its London branch to raise up to USD 400 million (about Rs 2,750 crore). The bonds are set to mature on March 28, 2024. Bonds will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. SBI Also raised 1,251.30 crores by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds.
    8. Middle East Nation oman signed an agreement with United States of America that willl allow USA to use southern Omani ports. It will allow American ships and warplanes to take advantage of omani ports and airports.
    9. World Economic Forum (WEF) global energy transition index 2019 (Fostering Effective Energy Transition ), ranking 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability -
      1. Top 3 - Sweden (1), Switzerland (2), Norway (3)
      2. Bottom 3 - Zimbabwe (113), South Africa (14), Haiti (115)
      3. India is Ranked 76th, compared to 78rh rank last year.
      4. Neighbours - China (82), Pakistan (97), Bangladesh (90), Nepal (93), Sri Lanka (60)
    10. 64th Filmfare Awards Winners -
      1. Category Winner
        Best Film Raazi
        Critics’ Award for Best Film AndhaDhun
        Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female) Alia Bhatt, Raazi
        Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) Ranbir Kapoor, Sanju
        Best Director Meghna Gulzar, Raazi
        Best Playback Singer (Male) Arijit Singh for Ae Watan, Raazi
        Best Playback Singer (Female) Shreya Ghoshal for Ghoomar, “Padmaavat”
        Best Cinematography Pankaj Kumar, Tumbbad
        Best Lyrics Gulzar for Ae Watan, Raazi.
        Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male) Gajraj Rao, Badhaai Ho and Vicky Kaushal, Sanju
        Best Music Album “Padmaavat”
        Best Short Film (Non Fiction) The Soccer City
        Best Short Film (Fiction) Rogan Josh
        Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female) Surekha Sikri, Badhaai Ho
  9. Mar 23, 2019
    1. India extended grant of 35.5 million Nepalese rupees to Nepal for the construction of an educational campus to boost learning environment of students.
    2. Mar 23 is observed as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day. On this day in 1929, great revolutionary fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev gave their martyrdom.
    3. RBI rejected IDBI Bank’s proposal to change its name following the transfer of a controlling 51% stake to LIC, from government of India. Proposed Name was LIC IDBI Bank or LIC Bank following takeover by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). RBI Recently listed IDBI Bank as Private Bank, after LIC took controlling stake in it.
    4. Medical Journal Lancet had stated that india’s goal to end TB epidemic by 2025 is unattainable. 57% reduction in incidence and 72% reduction in mortality will been seen only by 2035 and strengthening the care cascade could reduce cumulative TB incidence by 38%. India accounted for 27% of 10 million people globally, who had developed TB in 2017.
    5. Council of Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) recognised forest-certification scheme developed specifically for Indian forests by Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), an Indian non-profit Org, as first forest-certification scheme from India to get global recognition.
      1. Standards evolved were India specific and was based on key elements of existing models in India such as the Bhopal India Process of IIFM, National Working Plan Code and provisions in National Forest Policy for the promotion of afforestation, sustainable utilization of forest products and growth of the forest-based industries.
    6. Proceeds from disinvestments (public asset sales by government) have exceeded disinvestment target for the fiscal 2018-19 by Rs 5,000 crores, taking proceeds to 85,000 crores as against targeted 80000 Crores. Proceeds from Disinvestment in past years -
      1. 2014-15 - 26068 crores
      2. 2015-16 - 23997 crores
      3. 2016-17 - 46247 crores
      4. 2017-18 - 100056 crores
    7. Central Government banned the Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) as an unlawful association under the provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
    8. Japan donated $69 million to United Nations World Food Programme to provide vital aid to 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with biggest shares of the money being earmarked for Yemen and Iraq.
    9. RBI deferred implementation of new accounting rules, Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) for banks till further notice, as 2nd extension provided by RBI (Earlier in April 2018). RBI stated that since legislative amendments recommended by RBI are under consideration of government, it has been decided to defer implementation of Ind AS.
      1. Ind AS is a set of accounting norms developed by Indian authorities, which converge with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) shall not be required to apply Ind AS and shall continue to comply with existing Accounting Standards.
      2. This delay in the implementation of Ind AS will give banks more time to prepare for the expected credit-loss model. Fitch Ratings estimated that India’s Govt banks would have to increase provisions by 1.1 trillion rupees ($16 billion) in fiscal first quarter ending June 30 if new rules get applied.
    10. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) and ESPNcricinfo launched Superstats, a new metrics to analyse game of cricket, with 3 metrics - Luck Index, Forecaster, and Smart Stats. Superstats will provide viewers with a new experience wherein where match information, analysis and projection are backed with data science.
    11. Government appointed Karambir Singh as next Indian Navy Chief, replacing Sunil Lanba. Karambir Singh is presently Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Eastern Naval Command.
    12. Indian Origin industrialists Hinduja family topped Asian Rich List 2019 for 6th successive year with an estimated net worth of £25.2 billion. According to Asian Rich List 2019, Steel magnates Lakshmi Mittal remained in second place, with £11.2 billion. The list is compilation of 101 wealthiest Asians in Britain.
    13. Mar 23 - World Meteorological Day. 2019 Theme is The Sun, the Earth and theWeather.
    14. Telangana Sports Journalist Association (TSJA) named Badminton Player Saina Nehwal as sportsperson of the year, Pullela Gopichand as Coach of the Year and PV Sindhu as Outstanding Performer in women’s section.
    15. Microsoft developed a storage device in partnership with University of Washington (US) that can translate digital information into DNA. Software used in the system converts the 1’s and 0’s of digital data into DNA sequence (A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s) and stored it as a liquid. Device converted the word ‘Hello’ into DNA which took 21 hours.
    16. Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is named world’s 12th busiest airport with 6.9 crore domestic and international flyers in 2018, 10.2% points more than 2017, According to preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018 by Airports Council International (ACI). IGIA is fastest growing among top 20 airports in world, moving up four places from 16th spot in 2017.
  10. Mar 22, 2019
    1. Mar 22 - World Water Day. 2019 Theme is Leaving no one behind.
      1. On this occasion, Department of Post released a ‘Special Stamp Cover on Ice Stupa’, at Ice Stupa Site at Angles in Leh. About 12 villages across Ladakh have built Ice Stupas on experimental basis.
    2. 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy list prepared by Apolitical, a peer to peer learning platform for governments -
      1. List comprised of seven Indian names, who took important measures to combat climate change -
        1. Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal
        2. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan
        3. Mukta Tilak - Mayor of Pune
        4. Jyoti Kirit Parikh - Executive director of Integrated Research and Action for Development
        5. Sunita Narain - Director of Centre for Science and the Environment
        6. Vandana Shiva - Founder of Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy
        7. Upendra Tripathy - Director general of the International Solar Alliance
        8. Indian origin Varshini Prakash also made it to the list.
        9. List has been topped by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (US Congress) followed by Anne Hidalgo (Mayor, Paris).
    3. Mar 22 - Bihar Diwas. It commemorates state’s separation from Bengal presidency in 1912.
    4. Navroz is Iranian New Year celebrated by several ethnolinguistic communities around world, irrespective of religious background. In India, Parsis who follow Zoroastrianism celebrate Navroz.
      1. Navroz celebrations are traced back to 6th Century BC, back when Iranian community was homogeneously Zoroastrians. As community got divided over the years people of Iranian origin worldwide continued following Zoroastrian traditions together with Iranian New Year as well. March 21 which is the first day of the Iranian calendar is also marked as day King Jamshid was crowned as the King of Persia.
    5. US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights, against its earlier stand where USA treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory.
      1. Until 1967, Golan Heights was part of Syria. Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the Six Day war (Third Arab Israeli war) in 1967. Israel annexed the region unilaterally in 1981.
      2. Israel argues that civil war in Syria demonstrates need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and instability of its neighbour. Israel also fears that Iran is seeking to establish itself permanently on Syrian side of border in order to launch attacks on Israel.
    6. National Stock Exchange of India Subsidiary NSEIT acquired global cyber security firm Aujas Networks for an undisclosed sum, to improve its services and capabilities with a strong focus on helping customers with security challenges.
    7. Chinese Handset Maker Xiaomi launched Mi Pay, a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) Based mobile payment service in India to enable money transfer, with ICICI Bank as service provider.
    8. Researchers at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in collaboration with scientists from France, have discovered the existence of a synchronous oscillation of sea level across the entire Tropical Indian Ocean with a time period of 30-80 days during the winter months from December to April.
      1. These waves carry a lot of energy and momentum 20 peta Joules within the North Indian Ocean which is equivalent to exploding 100s of atomic bombs.
      2. This process is caused by intense winds associated with a tropical weather phenomenon known as “Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)”.
    9. Book titled ‘The Great Disappointment: How Narendra Modi Squandered a Unique Opportunity to Transform the Indian Economy’ written by Salman Anees Soz has been released.
    10. Karnataka Govt. suspended licence of taxi aggregator Ola for 6 Months, and ordered immediate stoppage of its services in Bengaluru, after illegal operation of bike taxis by Ola.
    11. Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) announced 15 winners of the 60th Annual Academy Awards, with awardees tionbeto be given prize money of Rs 1 lakh. Awardees -
      1. Chandan Kumar Samal (Odisha)
      2. Gouri Vemula (Telangana)
      3. Hemant Rao (Madhya Pradesh)
      4. Hiren Kumar Chotu Bhai Patel (Gujarat)
      5. Jaya Jena (Odisha)
      6. Jayesh K.K (Kerala)
      7. Jitendra Suresh Sutar (Maharashtra)
      8. Douglas Maryan John (Maharashtra)
      9. Pratap Chandra Chakraborty (West Bengal)
      10. Rashmi Singh (Uttar Pradesh)
      11. Sachin Kashinath Chaudhari (Maharashtra)
      12. Sunil Kumar Viswakarma (Uttar Pradesh)
      13. Tabassum Khan (Bihar)
      14. Vasudeo Taranath Kamath (Maharashtra)
      15. Veenita Sadguru Chendvankar (Goa)
  11. Mar 21, 2019
    1. Navy Chief Sunil Lanba commissioned a state of the art  Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Training Facility - ABHEDYA, at  INS Shivaji, Lonavla (Maharashtra). It has been delivered by Goa Shipyard Limited. It will assist Indian Navy in providing realistic simulation of  Nuclear, Chemical & Biological warfare to its personnel during their NBC damage control training.
      1. NBCTF Abhedya will help train personnel of naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) detection and protection systems.
      2. Abhedya is the maiden NBC simulator of the Indian Navy.
    2. 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Abu Dhabi (UAE) -
      1. 7500 Athletes from 190 Nations participated in 24 Events.
      2. Indian team with 285 athletes won 368 medals (85 gold, 154 Silver, and 129 Bronze). Indian powerlifters bagged maximum number of medals (20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze). Roller Skating earned India 49 medals (13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze).
    3. US Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck chosen for Abel Prize 2019 for her fundamental work in geometric analysis and gauge theory. She is first women to win the Prestigious Abel Prize.
      1. Able Prize was established by Oslo government in 2002 honour outstanding scientific work in field of mathematics, named after the 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
      2. Able Prize comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK).
      3. Only Indian recipient of the Able Prize is Indian American mathematician S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan. He was awarded for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviation.
    4. Mizoram Assembly passed Maintenance of Household Registers Bill 2019 that seeks to detect foreigners illegally residing in Mizoram state. It provides credible individual identification system and to prevent “usurpation” of benefits of developmental schemes by those who are not entitled and also provides for a comprehensive database of residents to be maintained.
    5. Mar 21 - International Day of Forests. 2019 theme is Forests and Education. Other Observations made on Mar 21 -
      1. International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 2019 theme is Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies.
      2. World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).
      3. World Poetry Day.
    6. Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser has been awarded 2019 Templeton Prize, worth $1.4 million, for his work blending science and spirituality. He is first Latin American to win the award.
    7. Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced to invest USD50 million in India’s renewable energy producer company Avaada Energy Private Limited (AEPL), to expand Renewable Energy Capacity in India. It will help in Government’s strategy to boost share of renewable energy generation capacity from about 20% in 2018 to 40% by 2030.
    8. As per European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) report, counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to 3.3% of global trade. It amounts to $522 billion in global sales.
    9. Chennai City FC named l–League Champion by All India Football Federation (AIFF) in Chennai. I-League is men’s top most professional football league in India. Winners -
      1. Fair Play Award - Shillong Lajong FC
      2. Top Goal Scorer - Pedro Manzi (Chennai City) and Willis Plaza (Churchill Brothers) (21 goals each).
      3. Goalkeeper - Bilal Khan (Real Kashmir)
      4. Forward - Pedro Manzi (Chennai City)
      5. Coach - Akbar Nawas (Chennai City)
      6. Hero of the League - Pedro Manzi (Chennai City).
    10. Malham Cave in Israel has surpassed previous record holder for longest salt cave that is the Namakdan Cave in Iran.
      1. After a mapping expedition by team of international experts, Malham Cave in Israel is now considered longest salt cave in world at over 6 miles (10 kilometers). It took the team of 80 volunteers two years and 1,500 work hours to map the cave.
      2. Previous record for longest salt cave at 4.1 miles was held by Namakdan Cave or the Cave of the Three Nudes in Iran for the last 13 years.
      3. The 10-kilometer (6-mile) Malham Cave is under Mount Sodom, at southwestern tip of the Dead Sea. Its main outlet stands not far from salt pillar dubbed “Lot’s Wife” after the Biblical character who was turned into a pillar of salt after looking back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    11. 28th edition of annual ‘Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition ’, has discovered India’s deepest shaft at Krem Um Ladaw. It has 105 m deep shaft entrance passage. Last year, the world’s longest sandstone cave, “Krem Puri” was discovered in Mawsynram area of Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya.
    12. Indian Railways Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has surpassed the top Chinese manufacturers after creating a 40% record increase in its production (Over 3200 Coaches). With this, Indian Railways oldest and premier coach manufacturing unit becomes the single largest rail coach manufacturer in world.
    13. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched a new podcast app 'Shiksha Vani' that will disseminate crucial information to students and parents in a timely manner.
      1. CBSE also introducted Artificial Intelligence (AI), Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE), and Yoga as skill subjects in the school curriculum for academic session 2019-20.
    14. New Zealand has imposed an immediate ban on assault weapons following the Christchurch massacre that claimed the lives of 50 mosque-goers.
    15. Indonesia hosted first ever High-Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) in its capital city Jakarta, with theme Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Inclusive Region.
    16. Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 surveyed asteroid Ryugu’s surface and landed multiple robotic probes on its rocky terrain. Findings -
      1. Asteroid Ryugu is far drier than expected. Ryugu is quite young (by asteroid standards), at around 100 million years old, this suggests its parent body was much largely devoid of water, too.
      2. Ryugu has an oblate “spinning top” shape, which suggests that the rocky body may have once spun at twice its current rate.
      3. Mission plan is expected to depart in December 2019 and return the samples to Earth in December 2020
    17. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das called for permanent status to Finance Commission. He is also a member of fifteenth finance commission (Headed by N K Singh).
      1. Permanent status will ensure consistencies between finance commissions so that there is some certainty in flow of funds to states. It will also provide for continuity between the successive finance commissions.
      2. RBI governor also called on for a robust expenditure planning without compromising on fiscal consolidation as fiscal federalism gathers momentum in era of uniform goods and services tax (GST).
    18. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) finalised first draft of comprehensive amendments to Indian Forest Act 1927. Features -
      1. The amendments shift the focus of Indian Forest Act from laws related to transport of forest produce and the tax on it to conservation, enrichment and sustainable management of forest resources and matters connected therewith .
      2. Amendment provides that if state government, after consultation with central government, feels that rights under Forest Rights Act will hamper conservation efforts, then state may commute such rights by providing compensation to maintain social organisation of forest-dwelling communities.
      3. Amendment introduces a new category of forests namely production forests which will be forests with specific objectives for production of timber, pulp, pulpwood, firewood, non-timber forest produce, medicinal plants or any forest species to increase production.
    19. World Happiness Report 2019 by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network -
      1. It ranks 156 countries on 6 key variables - income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.
      2. Top 5 - Finland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Norway (3rd), Iceland (4th) and The Netherlands (5th). Report stated that Finland has succeeded in generating recipe that’s not dependent on economic wealth.
      3. None of the world’s major economic powerhouses made it to the top 10. UK stood at 15, Germany ranked 17th and USA 19th.
      4. Neighbours - Pakistan (67th), China (93), Nepal (100), Bangladesh (125) and Sri Lanka (130).
      5. India witnessed sustained drop with a 140th place this year compared with the 133rd place in 2018. The report is considered inconsistent by Indian government as Pakistan, a debt ridden and terror sponsor state has been ranked at much higher position than india.
    20. NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission discovers evidence of water, particle plumes on asteroid Bennu among numerous other findings. Asteroid Bennu is only slightly wider than height of Empire State Building and it is expected to contain unaltered material from very beginning of our solar system.
      1. NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (Osiris-REx) mission is aimed at studying Bennu Asteroid, expected to return samples to Earth in 2023.
  12. Mar 20, 2019
    1. General Conferences (Mar 11 - 20, 2019)
      1. 3rd edition of Namaste Thailand festival, organised by Royal Thai Embassy held in New Delhi.
      2. India and Japan organized 3rd Indo-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) in New Delhi.
      3. NITI Aayog organized a day-long FinTech Conclave in New Delhi, aiming to To shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech.
      4. India Smart Utility Week (ISUW) 2019 held in Manekshaw Center,New Delhi, organized by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF).
      5. 2 day national convention of War Decorated India held at the Manekshaw Auditorium in Chandimandir, near Chandigarh.
      6. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), organised by National Innovation Foundation.
      7. 9th round of India-US Strategic Security Dialogue held in Washington DC. Both sides committed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of 6 U.S. nuclear reactors in India.
      8. NITI Aayog and US Agency for International Development (USAID) organized the first workshop on development of the India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF), envisaged as a pan-stakeholder platform for debating ideas, scenario-planning & discussing the India’s energy future in New Delhi.
      9. 4th IoT India Congress, an event which will see digital technology leaders converge to discuss and explore business opportunities in mainstreaming Internet of Things (IoT), will be held in Bengaluru in August 2019.
      10. 34th edition of Aahar - International Food and Hospitality Fair, organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) held in New Delhi.
      11. Vastradan Campaign initiated by the erstwhile royal family of Udaipur has set the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of clothes for donation. Campaign had collected more than 3 lakh items of clothing.
      12. Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Sahu launched ‘i-help’ initiative, to promote digital electoral literacy in the State
    2. Visits to India (Mar 11 - 20, 2019)
      1. Dr Ibrahima  Kassory Fofana, Prime Minister of Guinea ( West Africa) Visited India.
      2. Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih visited India. 
        1. During the visit, It was decided that India and Saudi Arabia will revive and expedite implementation of USD 44 billion West Coast refinery project in Maharashtra, named Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals (RRPCL), in which Saudi Aramco will be holding a considerable stake. It will be the largest greenfield refinery in world.
    3. Visits from India (Mar 11 - 20, 2019)
      1. Indian Navy Chief Sunil Lanba visited UK.
      2. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Maldives.
        1. Three agreements signed were -
          1. Agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports
          2. MOU regarding Indian grant assistance for implementation of high impact community development projects through local bodies
          3. MOU on collaboration in field of energy efficiency and renewable energy
        2. Maldives signed agreement with India’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for line of credit (LOC) of 800 million US dollars to finance the new government’s infrastructure projects.
          1. This LOC is part of 1.4 billion US dollars finance assistance announced by the Indian government during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih state visit in December 2018.
          2. EXIM Bank loans come with a 1.75% interest rate and a 15-year repayment period after five years of moratorium.
        3. India also agreed to establish a cricket stadium in Maldives.
    4. Annual Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey named Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive citiesm as first time ever that 3 cities are sharing the top spot.
      1. Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland ranked fourth and fifth respectively, with Osaka (Japan) ranked at 6th.
      2. India's Bengaluru, Chennai and New Delhi ranked 5th, 7th and 8th position respectively among top ten cheapest cities. Caracas in Venezuela is cheapest city in world.
    5. Kazakhstan renamed its capital as Nursultan from its previous name Astana, to recognize its outgoing president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who served nearly 30 years as president of Kazakhstan. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been appointed as new president of Kazakhstan.
    6. Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) approved a loan agreement of USD 83.11 million to Congo (Central African) for financing three solar power projects in country, with total capacity of 35 megawatts in Karawa, Mbandaka, and Lusambo provinces.
      1. It was approved During 14th CII-Exim Conclave 2019 held in New Delhi. Till now, Exim Bank has extended 10 LOC valued at USD 578.05 million, to Congo. With this, Exim Bank has 244 LOCs covering 63 countries with over $23.43 billion credit commitments.
    7. State Bank of India (SBI) partnered with Bank of China (BoC) to boost business opportunities and enhance business cooperation. Partnering with SBI will make BoC an opportunity to grow through established relationships and market expertise as India.
    8. India registered highest growth of 27% among countries in patent applications in 2018 with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). India filed 2013 international patent applications during 2018. US-based applicants filed 56,142 PCT applications, followed by those from China (53,345), Japan (49,702), Germany (19,883), and Korea (17,014).
    9. Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi named as winner of honoured with Vyas Samman 2018 by KK Birla Foundation for his collection of poems “Jitne Log Utne Prem”. Vyas Samman started in 1991, ans carries an amount of 4 lakh.
    10. Indian psychologist professor Ashis Nandy (Former director of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) has been chosen for the Hans-Kilian Award 2019 which carries an amount of 80,000 Euros. This award is named after late social psychologist and psychoanalyst Hans Kilian and given by Köhler Foundation.
    11. NASA Researchers stated that mercury is closer to earth than Venus, As per research on basis of average distance. Every other planet when compared to mercury is farther from earth including Venus based on average distance. Also, mercury is closest planet to every other planet in solar system when considering average. Study Says mercury is at 0.387 AU (Astromomical Unit) from earth while Venus is at 0.722 AU.
    12. Indian-origin Jagmeet Singh became first non-white leader of a major opposition party in Canada, as he made his debut in House of Commons. Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, was elected in federal by-elections held in February 2019.
    13. Information Technology (IT) major IBM has created a Blockchain-based global payment network that transmits monetary value in the form of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies or “stable coins.” The payment network called World Wire uses the Stellar protocol that reduces intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement time.
    14. Russian-US joint interplanetary probe to Venus will be launched in 2027. Venera-D space mission, a joint project to land on Venus, involves Russian orbital and landing gear and a small US scientific station.
    15. USA signed agreement with South American Nation Brazil to protect its technology associated with US participation in space launches.
    16. Mar 20 - World Sparrow Day. 2019 theme is I LOVE Sparrows. Mar 20 is also known as International Day of Happiness, with 2019 theme ‘Happier Together’.
    17. Google has been fined €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion) b European Union, for Blocking advertising rivals, focusing on company's illegal practises in search advertising brokering from 2006 to 2016.
    18. GST council approved a transition plan for new goods and services tax rates on residential properties under which developers of under-construction buildings may either opt to shift to the revised lower rates without input tax credit or stick to previous rates. From April 2019, developers will have to adhere to new GST rates recommended by the council.
    19. Indian budget Airline SpiceJet joined global airlines’ grouping ‘International Air Transport Association’ (IATA), as first Indian low-budget carrier to join IATA. India based Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara are already IATA Members.
    20. Supreme Court censured Uttarakhand High Court for framing a scheme to regularise hundreds of casual workers engaged by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
      1. A case was filed in Uttarakhand HC by unions representing casual workers, against centre alleging that govt. had not regularised labourers though they had worked for BRO for years.
      2. Uttarakhand HC Framed a scheme to regularise the services of casual labourers and granted them benefits similar to those of regular employees.
      3. SC asia that courts can not form schemes as its done by government. All that High Court could have done is exercising of its the power under Article 226 of Constitution to direct government to consider framing an appropriate scheme.
  13. Mar 19, 2019
    1. Madhya Pradesh government announced increase of reservation quotas for the OBCs from 14% to 27%. Madhya Pradesh already has 36% reservation for scheduled castes and tribes.
    2. 33rd edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) began at Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), to be held till 04 Apr 2019.
    3. Home Ministry has approved the changing of name of the Old Mangkhi village in Tuensang of Nagaland to Mungankhun village. Central government has given its ‘no-objection’ to renaming of 22 villages, towns and railway stations across the country since December 2017.
    4. Metropolitan Clearing Corporation of India (MCCIL) became first clearing corporation in India to receive recognition as a Third-Country Central Counterparty (TC-CCP) by Bank of England for offering various clearing services to UK-based entities, granted under UK’s Temporary Recognition Regime (TRR).
      1. In 2017, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also recognized the Metropolitan Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (MCCIL) as a third Country Central Counterparty .
      2. A financial institution which provides clearing and settlement services for trading in foreign exchange, securities, and derivative contracts as well as deals with counter party credit risk between 2 parties known as Central counterparty clearing (CCP).
    5. Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar in collaboration with National Mental Health Program, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat has developed a mobile application called as ‘Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior’ for students to reduce the exam pressure.
    6. SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi stayed Meghalaya High Court’s judgment against Shillong Times editor, Patricia Mukhim and Publisher, Shobha Chaudhuri who were found guilty of contempt of court. Both Patricia Mukhim and Shobha Chaudhuri were fined with Rs. 2 lakh by Meghalaya HC.
    7. Singapore-based merchant platform firm Pine Labs acquired Bengaluru-based gift card solutions provider Qwikcilver for $110 million. Founded in 2006, Qwikcilver is a full-stack gift card service provider, powering nine out of every 10 gift cards in the country and managing an annualised gross transaction value of $1.5 billion across India, Middle East and South East Asia.
    8. First remote surgery on a human using 5G technology successfully conducted in China, with low-latency 5G technology provided by Huawei and China Mobile. 5G technology was used in a surgery conducted on a pig last year.
    9. Cab Aggregator Ola signed MoU with Telangana Government to support latter's efforts in strengthening traffic infrastructure in city. Ola would share intelligent insights that will enable Government to implement smart solutions to enhance 'mobility experience'.
    10. Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors Corporation will invest a total of $ 300 million in Cab Aggregator Ola, as their biggest combined investment to date.
    11. Reliance Commnications cleared outstanding dues Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson by paying Rs 458.7 crores.
      1. Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani helped Younger brother Anil Ambani in this Payout Case, by providing funds.
      2. Supreme Court’s held Reliance Communications (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for wilfully violating its order and not paying its dues of Rs 550 crore to Telecom equipment maker Ericsson. SC Stated that Anil ambani will have to Face Jail term ifg fails to pay dues by March 19, 2019.
    12. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) paid $1.6 million as compensation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after losing a case in the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee.
      1. PCB had filed a compensation case against BCCI in 2018 before ICC Dispute Resolution Committee for an amount of around $70 million.
      2. PCB sought huge amount as compensation from BCCI for not honouring a MoU signed between two boards, as per which, India and Pakistan were supposed to play 6 bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, which BCCI failed to honour.
      3. BCCI said that it was unable to play against Pakistan as Indian government did not give required permission. BCCI also maintained that discussion with PCB was a proposal and never a legally binding MoU.
    13. 34th meeting of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
      1. During the meet, It was decided to hold Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019, the first joint military exercise of SCO.
      2. Meeting also announced the holding of the first joint border operation Solidarity 2019-2021.
      3. SCO member states China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan will participate in a joint counter-terrorism exercise ‘Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019’ to be held in grasslands of Kazakhstan in the Sary Arka region.
    14. Indian Writer Raghu Karnad won Windham-Campbell Prize with cash $165000, in non-fiction category for his debut book, The Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War.
      1. Karnad is one of 8 winners chosen across four categories - fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry. Other awardee in non-fiction is American writer Rebecca Solnit.
      2. Windham-Campbell Prize is administered by Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in the US and was established in 2013. Jury selects two winners each for each of the category fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry.
    15. National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare a noise pollution map and remedial action plan to solve issue across country. NGT asked CPCB to consider setting up of such mechanisms in all cities where noise pollution is beyond permissible limits.
    16. British Army will create a new Specialised Infantry Battalion by recruiting more than 800 Nepalese Gurkha servicepersons.
      1. Gurkhas have completed 200 years of service in the British Army and currently, they comprise up to 3% of the British Army.
      2. During Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, Gorkha Kingdom had inflicted heavy casualties on British Army even though they had lost war. British India decided to recruit these soldiers starting in 1815 and Gurkhas have fought on the side of the British Empire in almost every war.
      3. After Indian Independence in 1947, as per Britain-India-Nepal Tripartite Agreement 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 10th Gurkha Rifles regiments were assigned to India, and the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th were assigned regiments to Britain.
      4. Further India created 11th Gurkha Rifles regiment to accommodate Gurkhas who refused to depart with now-British regiments.
      5. British later amalgamated the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th battalions into Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) regiment.
    17. Uttar Pradesh started its First census of otters in its protected areas, beginning in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. Otters live on fish and spend much of its time in or close to water bodies. A thriving population of otters means a healthy ecosystem and pollution-free water bodies. India is home to 3 of 13 species of otters found worldwide.
    18. Bomb cyclone struck US Great Plains resulting in blizzard conditions, hurricane-like winds, snow and heavy rain and subsequent flooding. Bomb Cyclone (Bombogenesis) refers to a rapidly intensifying area of low-pressure winter storm when there is a pressure drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.
  14. Mar 18, 2019
    1. Government formed an inter-ministerial panel for monitoring, sanctioning and implementation of projects under the Rs 10,000-crore Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-II) programme, aimed at incentivising clean mobility. It will be chaired by secretary in Department of Heavy Industries, A. R. Sihag. 2nd phase of FAME India scheme will be implemented over 3 years from April 2019.
    2. Largest War Game of Indian Navy - the Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 19) concluded, which began in Jan 19. About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19. Largest Coastal Defence Exercise code named SEA VIGIL' was also part of Tropex - 19.
    3. WhatsApp partnered with NASSCOM Foundation, to tackle misinformation issue, aiming train 100,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
    4. 13 years old pianist from Chennai Lydian Nadhaswaram won prize of $1 million (6.9 crore) for his performance on the American reality show ‘The World’s Best’. Lydian Nadhaswaram is student of Chennai-based KM Music Conservatory which is run by A.R. Rahman in Chennai.
    5. Director C Prem Kumar will be awarded with 22nd Gollapudi Srinivas National Award for his debut film Tamil ‘96’, presented to debutant filmmaker by Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation in memory of Gollapudi Srinivas who passed away while making his first project.
    6. Bengaluru Football Club (FC) won their first Indian Super League (ISL) title, defeating FC Goa in Mumbai.
    7. Mar 18 - Ordnance Factories Day in India. On 18th March 1802, production of oldest Ordnance Factory of India was commenced at Cossipore, Kolkata. On 200th anniversary of first ordnance factory which is known as Gun and Shell Factory, day was declared as Ordinance factories day.
    8. INS Khanderi, second of the 6 Scorpene Class Submarines, will be inducted into Indian Navy by May 2019.
    9. 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work leading a youth campaign to halt climate change. If she wins, Greta would become youngest person to receive Nobel Peace Prize.
    10. Pramod Sawant has been appointed as 13th Chief Minister of Goa, succeeding Manohar Parrikar, who passed away recently. Also, Vijai Sardesai and Manohar Ajgaonkar are appointed as Deputy Chief Ministers of Goa. Sudin Dhavalikar was also appointed Deputy CM earlier, but later removed from the post.
    11. 2019 BNP Paribas Open (also known as 2019 Indian Wells Masters Tennis Title) -
      1. Men's Singles - Dominic Thiem (Austria), defeated Roger Federer (Switzerland)
      2. Women's Singles - Bianca Andreescu (Canada), defeated Angelique Kerber (Germany)
      3. Men's Doubles - Nikola Mektić (Croatia) AND Horacio Zeballos (Argentina)
      4. Women's Doubles - Elise Mertens (Belgium) AND Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus)
    12. 2019 Asian Youth Athletics Championships (Hong Kong) -
      1. Medal Tally -
        Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
        1  China 12 11 8 31
        2  India 8 9 9 26
        3  Japan 6 8 6 20
        4  Chinese Taipei 3 3 3 9
        5  Kazakhstan 2 1 4 7
      2. Indian Gold Medalists -
        1. Males -
          1. Abdul Razak Cheramkulangara Rasheed (400 Metres)
          2. Medley Relay (Team)
          3. Vishvendra Singh (10000 Metres Walk)
          4. Vipin Kumar (Hammer throw)
          5. Usaid Khan (Decathlon)
        2. Females -
          1. Avantika Santosh Narale (100 metres)
          2. Thabitha Philip Maheswaran (100 metres hurdles)
          3. Thabitha Philip Maheswaran (Long jump)
    13. In a first, India piloted resolutions on two important global environment issues relating to Single-use Plastics and Sustainable Nitrogen management at the fourth session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) which was held in Nairobi (Kenya).
      1. UNEA adopted both resolutions with consensus. The theme of the UNEA this year was Innovative Solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable production and consumption
      2. Global nitrogen use efficiency is low, resulting in pollution by reactive nitrogen which threatens human health, eco system services, contributes to climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion. Only a small proportion of the plastics produced globally are recycled with most of it damaging the environment and aquatic bio-diversity. Both these are global challenges and the resolutions piloted by India at the UNEA are vital first steps towards addressing these issues and attracting focus of the global community.
    14. Mar 18 is noted as Global Recycling day.
  15. Mar 17, 2019
    1. IIT Kharagpur will adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate programme to help students gain cloud computing skills including hands-on experience in artificial intelligence (AI). The programme offers a robust set of no-cost tools, resources and AWS Promotional Credits for students and educators to boost their cloud skills and experience.
    2. India defeated Nepal to win 5th South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women’s Championship in Biratnagar (Nepal).
    3. K.T. Irfan became Indian (in athletics) to qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2020, as he finished fourth in men’s 20 kilometre category at the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi (Japan).
    4. National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed INR 5-crore fine on the Adani Group over its power plant in Karnataka’s Udupi, also cancelling environmental clearance given to Adani Group to expand its power plant in the area.
    5. Former IAS officer Shah Faesal, who became first IAS topper from J&K in 2009, has launched a political party named ‘Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement’ at a function in Srinagar . He resigned from the Indian Administrative Service in January to protest killings in Kashmir.
    6. Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Vijit' became the first-ever Coast Guard ship to visit Indonesia (in Sabang).
    7. Ministry of Human Resource Development signed MoU with Afghanistan to work on digital education initiatives, which include many prominent programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), at IIT-Madras.
    8. Reliance CMD Mukesh Ambani leads Forbes' list of richest sports team owners with a net worth of around $50 billion. He owns IPL team Mumbai Indians for approx $100 million. American businessmen Steve Ballmer (Net worth: $41.2 billion) and Austria's Dietrich Mateschitz ($18.9 billion) are at 2nd and 3rd places.
    9. RBI named State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), which means that these banks are too big to fail. These banks will have to set aside more capital for their continued operation. Inclusion in D-SIB indicates that failure of any of these banks would have a cascading effect on the Indian financial system.
    10. ICICI Lombard and Mobikwik partnered to provide cyber-insurance cover of Upto 50000, to provide protection against unauthorized and fraudulent transactions online.
    11. Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and Cosmonaut (Russian Crew members are called as a cosmonaut) Alexey Ovchinin docked successfully to International Space Station.
    12. Mercedes Racer Valtteri Bottas (Finland) won season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix 2019.
      1. Round Grand Prix Winner date
        1 Australian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 17 March
        2 Bahrain Grand Prix   31 March
        3 Chinese Grand Prix   14 April
        4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix   28 April
        5 Spanish Grand Prix   12 May
        6 Monaco Grand Prix   26 May
        7 Canadian Grand Prix   9 June
        8 French Grand Prix   23 June
        9 Austrian Grand Prix   30 June
        10 British Grand Prix   14 July
        11 German Grand Prix   28 July
        12 Hungarian Grand Prix   4 August
        13 Belgian Grand Prix   1 September
        14 Italian Grand Prix   8 September
        15 Singapore Grand Prix   22 September
        16 Russian Grand Prix   29 September
        17 Japanese Grand Prix   13 October
        18 Mexican Grand Prix   27 October
        19 United States Grand Prix   3 November
        20 Brazilian Grand Prix   17 November
        21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix   1 December
    13. 2019 Swiss Open Badminton (called YONEX Swiss Open 2019) -
      1. Men's Singles - Shi Yuqi (China), Defeated India's B. Sai Praneeth in Final.
      2. Women's Singles - Chen Yufei (China)
      3. Men's Doubles - Indonesia's Fajar Alfian AND Muhammad Rian Ardianto
      4. Women's Doubles - South Korea's Chang Ye-na AND Jung Kyung-eun
      5. Mixed Doubles - Denmark' Mathias Bay-Smidt AND Rikke Søby Hansen
  16. Mar 16, 2019
    1. Red Flag 19 military drill held in the USA, to test combat readiness.
    2. Former SC judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose has been appointed first Lokpal of India (anti-corruption watchdog). President also appointed 4 Judicial Members (Dilip B. Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari, Ajay Kumar Tripathi) and 4 non Judicial Members (Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam).
    3. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed MoU with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to co-operate for effective implementation of the Code, by sharing of information and resources and other terms of MOU.
    4. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched programme for School Children called “Young Scientist Programme” “YUva VIgyani KAryakram” (युिवका), aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones.
      1. Residential training programme will be of around two weeks duration during summer holidays and it is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ UT. Those who have finished 9th and waiting to join 10th standard are eligible.
      2. Interested students can register online from 25th March 2019 (1800 hrs) to 03rd April 2019 (1800 hrs). URL is
    5. 2nd International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi.
    6. Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai struck Africa, with damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, causing over 1000 casualties. It is regarded as one of the worst tropical cyclones. Indian Navy sent Squadron containing INS Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul, for providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in Mozambique.
    7. Acuite Ratings and Research appointed S S Mundra (former deputy RBI governor) as its non-executive chairman.
    8. RBI offered a $5-billion swap facility to banks to aid liquidity before end of the financial year. The auction will happen on March 26 and the buy/sell swap will run up to March 28, 2022. The swap facility is part of its ‘liquidity management toolkit’ and would be to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system.
    9. Government ordered monitoring West Nile Virus spread in Kerala, after A seven-year-old in Kerala was tested positive. It typically spreads by mosquitoes and results in neurological disease as well as death in people. Virus is the member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of family Flaviviridae, first detected in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
    10. Scientists developed a common framework for assessment of climate change vulnerability in Himalayan states (Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.). Assessment shows vulnerability index is highest for Assam (0.72) and Mizoram (0.71). Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with the index being 0.42.
    11. RBI Approved Bandhan Bank's acquisition of Gruh Finance, to enhance and strenthen its portfolio.
      1. Gruh Finance is low-cost arm of HDFC Group. After the merger, HDFC Sought to take 14.96 % state in Bandhan Bank. The same has been limited by RBI hold 9.9%. 9.9 % is maximum a non-banking finance company can own in a private bank.
    12. Swati Shingade of Pune (Maharashtra) won first prize of DD Mahila Kisan Award for 2018-19, out of 110 women farmers who participated.
    13. IIT Guwahati, IIT Mandi, and Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru partnered hands with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to develop a climate change vulnerability assessment for the Indian Himalayan region using a common framework called as the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE).
    14. Researchers at University of Texas (UT) at Austin (USA) developed a novel solar-powered harvesting system that absorbs moisture from the air and converts it into clean, usable water. It relies on hydrogels, gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to be “super sponges” that can retain large amounts of water.
      1. With estimated 50,000 cubic kilometers of water contained in the atmosphere, this new system could tap into those reserves and potentially lead to small, inexpensive and portable filtration systems.
    15. A report by brand consultancy Interbrand named Tata, Reliance and Airtel are the top three Indian brands of 2019. Big Bazaar (33rd), DMart (37th) and Nerolac Paints (39th) are new entrants in this year’s ranking.
    16. Microsoft partnered with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to promote its Project ‘Sangam’ which is developed to accelerate Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in India. Project Sangam is a cloud-hosted, mobile-first community learning platform.
    17. SBI launched a new service called ‘YONO Cash’ for its customers using which customers can withdraw money from ATMs without using debit cards. YONO stands for You Only Need One.
    18. 1st BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Sherpa meeting held in Curitiba (Brazil). Indian delegation was led by Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs T S Tirumurti.
    19. Armies of India and Myanmar conducted a "coordinated operation" named Operation Sunrise, against insurgents in Myanmarese territory to avert a possible threat to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project. Indian Army did not cross border during the operation.
      1. Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project is being viewed as India's gateway to the Southeast Asia. India entered into a framework agreement with Myanmar in April 2008 to facilitate implementation of the project. Phe project will help connect Mizoram with the Sittwe Port in Rakhine State of Myanmar.
  17. Mar 15, 2019
    1. 2019 All England Badminton Champonships -
      1. Men's Singles - Kento Momota (Japan), defeated Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
      2. Women's Singles - Chen Yufei (China), Defeated Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei)
      3. Men's Doubles - Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan AND Hendra Setiawan
      4. Women's Doubles - China's Chen Qingchen AND Jia Yifan
      5. Mixed Doubles - China's Zheng Siwei AND Huang Yaqiong
    2. Mar 15 - World Consumer Rights Day. 2019 theme is Trusted Smart Products. Mar 15 is also noted as World Sleep Day. 2019 theme is Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging.
    3. Marshall Islands (Oceanic Nation) will release a digital currency called “SOV” (Sovereign) in 2019, in partnership with Neema, an Israeli company. With SOV, every account would be fully identified and buyers would be checked against US Office of Foreign Asset Control so that only legitimate, law-abiding people can use the currency.
    4. World Health Organization (WHO) released a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030 aimed at protecting people in all countries from the threat of influenza, one of greatest public health challenges. WHO recommends annual influenza vaccination as the most effective way to prevent influenza, which is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications and for health care workers.
    5. Indian Sundarbans has been accorded status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’ in Ramsar Convention. Indian Sundarban is also a UNESCO world heritage site, and is home to Royal Bengal Tiger.
      1. Ramsar status will help to highlight conservation issues of the Sundarbans at the international level at the time when concerns have been raised about natural ecosystems being changed for cultivation of shrimp, crab, molluscs and fish.
      2. Ramsar Convention, is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It is the only global treaty which focus on a single ecosystem.
    6. Harry Hatry Award for Performance Management has been awarded to Indian Origin Prajapati Trivedi, Commonwealth’s Director of Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development, by American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and Center for Accountability and Performance (CAP).
  18. Mar 14, 2019
    1. 8th Indo - Bangladesh Joint Army Exercise Sampriti-VIII, held at Tangail (Bangladesh)
    2. Mar 14, 2019 - World Kidney Day (WKD) 2019. It is observed annually on second Thursday in March. 2019 theme is Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere.
    3. Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) partnered with NASSCOM Foundation, to launch a centre of excellence in Bengaluru for training differently-abled persons (PwDs) which will train a minimum of 100 PwDs making them industry-ready over next 12 months.
    4. Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft has been banned by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the Indian airspace, following Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people.
    5. As per 2nd Global Chemicals Outlook (GCO II) report released at United Nations’ Environment Assembly in Nairobi (Kenya), chemical production across the world will double by 2030, from current global capacity to produce 2.3 billion tonne chemicals. 1.6 million lives were lost in 2016 due to diseases related to chemicals. China will account for almost 50 % of global sales by 2030.
    6. Bank of India (BoI) raised 661 crores by issuing shares to employees under Employee Share Purchase Scheme (ESPS). Karur Vysya Bank also announced raising 487 crores through Basel-III compliant bonds for funding its growth plans.
    7. Election Commission of India (ECI) informed Supreme court that exclusion of names from draft NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Assam will not affect voting rights of persons in the upcoming elections provided that their name features in electoral rolls. Response came after ECI Secretary was summoned by supreme court in connection with a PIL(Public Interest Litigation).
    8. Argentina and Colombia will co-host 2020 Copa America Football Cup, as first time this tournament will be hosted by 2 countries. Two countries are separated by over 7000 kilometers.
    9. Aviva Life Insurance launched Wings, a specially designed mentorship program to empower female workforce, giving them an avenue to freely communicate in a safe environment, allowing them to focus on growth and improvement.
    10. Geographical Indication (GI) tags granted to Coorg Arabica Coffee, Wayanad Robusta Coffee, Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee, Araku Valley Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee, by Geographical Indications Registry.
    11. Karnataka won Syed Mushtaq ALi T20 Cricket tournament, defeating Maharashtra.
    12. ICRA stated that fresh NPAs in banking sector are expected to come down 1.9-2.4 % in FY’20 from 3.7% in FY 19, owing to a dedicated NPA recovery mechanism and write offs by banks. Public sector banks (PSBs) may earn profit after 4 continuous years of losses. Gross NPAs is expected to be 8.3 lakh crore (7.9 %) for March 2020.
    13. Mercer’s annual Quality of Living Survey 2019 placed Austria’s capital city Vienna at the number one spot, for 10th year in a row.
      1. Top 5 - Vienna (Austria), Zürich (Switzerland), Vancouver (Canada), Munich (Germany), Auckland (New Zealand)
      2. Hyderabad and Pune, ranked 143, are most liveable cities in India for expatriates.
    14. RBI Relaxed norms for imports of capital and non-capital goods, by raising the trade credit limit to $150 million under automatic route.
      1. Trade Credits up to $150 million or equivalent per import transaction for oil and gas refining & marketing, airline and shipping companies can be availed under automatic route, while for other industries, this limit has been fixed at $50 million.
      2. Previously, under automatic route banks were allowed to approve trade credit of up to $20 million and anything beyond that required RBI’s approval.
    15. A new species of frog known as ‘Starry Dwarf Frog’ has been discovered in Western Ghats mountain range. It has been named ‘Astro Batrachus kurichiya’ and is found in Kurichiyarmala, Kerala.
    16. Krishna Kumari Kohli appointed as first female senator of Pakistan from Hindu Dalit community. She is also the first Thari Hindu woman to be elected to the Pakistan senate.
    17. Noted Novelist and Film Director, Ved Rahi will be honored with Kusumagraj Rashtriya Sahitya Puraskar which carries cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh. Kusumagraj award is named after Marathi Poet and playwright, late V V Shirwadkar who was popularly known as Kusumagraj.
    18. Mar 14 - International Pi (π) Day. It is observed on 14 March (3/14 in American month/day date format) since 3, 1, and 4 are first 3 significant digits of π
  19. Mar 13, 2019
    1. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 13, 2019)
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019) -for issuance of statutory notifications under under sub-section(2) of Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It provides for calling upon parliamentary constituencies to elect Members to House of the People, on dates to be recommended by Election Commission of India.
        2. Approved Promulgation of Daman and Diu Civil Courts (Amendment) Regulation 2019 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Civil Courts and Miscellaneous Provisions)Amendment Regulation 2019 under Article 240 of the Constitution, to help bring uniformity in Judicial Service.
        3. Approved proposal for accession of India to
          1. The Nice Agreement concerning International classification of Goods and Services for the purposes of registration of marks,
          2. The Vienna Agreement establishing an International Classification of the figurative elements of marks
          3. The Locarno Agreement establishing an International classification for industrial designs.
          4. Accession to these Agreements will help Intellectual Property Office in India to harmonise the classification systems for examinational of trademark and design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
    2. Indian IT Firm Infosys will open a digital innovation centre at Bucharest in Romania to develop software for clients based on cloud, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
    3. Ahmedabad bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)approved 42,000 crores resolution plan submitted by ArcelorMittal for debt-ridden Essar Steel.
    4. HDFC Bank crossed INR 6 trillion market capitalization mark for first time, becoming third Indian firm after Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to achieve the milestone. RIL is most valued company with market cap 8.50 trillion.
    5. State Bank of India (SBI) launched doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70 years of age and differently-abled customers, at a nominal fee of 100 rupees per transaction for financial transactions and 60 rupees for non-financial transactions. Eligible customers residing within 5 kilometers radius from home branch ay avail the service.
    6. India has so far extended a grant assistance of up to USD 250 million to Nepal for the reconstruction of infrastructures in the areas of housing, education, health and cultural heritage that was destroyed during the devastating April 2015 earthquake.
    7. USA Special Forces Group stationed in Japan held a joint exercise with India’s National Security Guard in Hyderabad, aimed at enhancing capabilities.
    8. RBI will use a new tool for the first time to enhance liquidity in system using which it will buy $5 billion from banks in a swap deal that is capable of injecting 35000 crores into system. Minimum bid size for auction has been fixed at $25 million and multiple bids submission by banks will be allowed.
    9. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee tied up with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Space Technology Cell, to pursue advanced research in areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of Indian space programme.
    10. Google phased out its “Allo” mobile messaging app, which was launched in 2016.
    11. World Bank approved a $125 million loan for Sri Lanka to help small farmers improve productivity and tackle climate change.
  20. Mar 12, 2019
    1. Central government allowed state governments to put enemy properties into public use, amending guidelines for disposal of the Enemy Property Order 2018. Enemy properties are the properties of the people who migrated to Pakistan during partition and also to China after Sino-India war in 1962.
      1. It is estimated that there are 9,280 such properties which were left behind by people who went to Pakistan and 126 such properties were left by the Chinese nationals.
    2. PM Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi PM jointly unveiled e-plaques for development projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing, including Extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh. NKN is an Indian resource sharing network aimed at digitally connecting all national universities, colleges and research establishments to create country-wide virtual classrooms.
    3. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released the Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018 Report.
      1. Russia’s arms export to India decreased by 42 % between 2014-18 and 2009-2013. Russia accounted for 58 % of total Indian arms imports in 2014-2018, compared with 76 % in 2009-2013.
      2. India’s import of arms decreased by 24 per cent between 2009-2013 and 2014-2018. India was world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5 per cent of the global total.
      3. Five largest Arm exporters in 2014-18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China.
      4. Five largest Arm importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and Algeria. Saudi Arabia replaced india as world's largest importer of arms, a position which india held for over a decade.
    4. Ireland-based Johnson Controls Building Technologies and Solutions released its report for second annual smart city indicator survey. About India -
      1. About 4 per cent of buildings in India are “green” but a lack of technical expertise to execute projects and funding to pay for improvements is biggest barriers to investment in India.
      2. Green building refers to both a structure and the application of processes which are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from planning to construction and maintenance.
      3. India is on track to be consistent with the global average of 14 per cent.
    5. World Gold Council report quantum of gold holding by the different countries -
      1. 11th largest gold reserve and the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes.
      2. List contains International Organization International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is ranked third with gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes.
      3. Top spot is occupied by US gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3,369.7 tonnes. 3rd and 4th slot occupied by Germany and France with reserves of around 2,400 tonnes each.
      4. China has gold reserves of 1,864.3 tonnes.
    6. IIT Kharagpur signed MoU with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to set up a 1.3 Petaflop high-performance computing facility and data centre funded under National Supercomputing Mission.
      1. National Supercomputing Mission was initiated in 2015, implemented by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) at cost of 4500 crores over a 7 years.
    7. Social media Facebook launched Facebook Hubs to foster innovation and offer support for budding entrepreneurs, by providing support for start-up community by hosting mentor hours and conducting trainings, workshops, discussions.
    8. Astronomers from Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai identified a new population of ultraviolet stars in the globular cluster NGC 2808 using the Indian multi-wavelength space observatory AstroSat, launched in September 2015.
    9. United Kingdom commemorated Noted Physicist Stephen Hawking in a new 50p coin, with references to His pioneering work on black holes.
    10. European Union expanded its tax haven blacklist by including 10 countries, now having 15 countries. List was first drawn up by EU in 2017 in the wake of several scandals, including Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. Countries added - Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu, Dominica, Barbados, United Arab Emirates and Marshall Islands.
    11. China blocked bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Azhar Masood as a global terrorist in United Nations Security Council 1267 list. Proposal was moved by France, UK and US, after Pulwama Terror Attack.
    12. India announced 200 scholarships to meritorious Nepali students for continuing various undergraduate courses at colleges and universities. , under Golden Jubilee Scholarship scheme. It was initiated by Indian Embassy in Nepal to mark completion of 50 years of India-Nepal Economic Cooperation.
    13. Ministry of Corporate Affairs formulated National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) by revising National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011 (NVGs). NGRBC urge businesses to actualise principles in letter and spirit.
    14. Forum of Young Global Leaders, World Economic Forum’s foundation for remarkable leaders under 40 released list of Individuals with grit, foresight and potential to improve state of world in 2019. Indians Featuring in List are -
      1. Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokesh, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain, Telangana government’s Chief Innovation Officer Phanindra Sama, SaveLife Foundation’s Piyush Tewari and Kaleidofin’s co-Founder Sucharita Mukherjee
    15. First shipment under United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Chabahar Port of Iran.
      1. TIR an international Convention aimed at harmonising administrative formalities of international road transport. The goods being moved through the TIR convention requires the goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments.
      2. Customs officials only verify carnet and check seal without physical checking of contents. This enables shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.
    16. Tamil Nadu's Erode Turmeric received GI tag from Geographical Indication Registry. Erode Turmeric is golden yellow in colour with resistance to pests after boiling. Erode turmeric contains 2.5 to 4.5% of curcumin content. Its grown in hot moist conditions prevalent in the area with temperature ranging from 20 degrees to 37.9 degrees Celsius with average of 600 to 800 mm rainfall in a year.
    17. Sirsi Supari of Karnataka got GI tag by the Registrar of Geographical Indications, being first product from Arecanut sector to get GI tag.
      1. Sirsi Supari is cultivated in Yellapura, Siddapura and Sirsi taluks. Its medium size, somewhat flat and rounded shape, somewhat ash coloured, and a hard seed which makes it unique.
    18. United Nations Environment Programme released Global Environment Outlook 2019. Observations about India -
      1. India could save at least $3 trillion (Rs 210 trillion approx.) in healthcare costs if India implements policy initiatives which are consistent with ensuring that the globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century.
      2. India is on track to achieve the target of lowering the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 and increasing the total cumulative electricity generation from fossil-free energy sources to 40% by 2030.
      3. Paris Accord 2015 aims to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
    19. India and Pakistan held first round of talks to discuss and finalise modalities for Kartarpur Corridor, to facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.
    20. Mar 12, 2019 marks 89th anniversary of Dandi Satyagraha or Salt Satyagraha, an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by M K Gandhi in 1930.
  21. Mar 11, 2019
    1. India and USA will now be able to exchange country-by-country (CbC) reports filed by ultimate parent corporations based in either of countries. This will reduce compliance burden on their subsidiaries operating out of these countries, after signing of an agreement for the same.
      1. Income Tax Act requires Indian subsidiaries of multinational companies to provide details of key financial statements from other jurisdictions where they operate. This provides the IT department with better operational view of such companies, primarily with regards to revenue and income tax paid.
    2. Japanese government announced donation of some approx Rs 22 lakh ($31,800) to Rabindra Bharati Museum in Kolkata, to strengthen historical and cultural ties with India.
    3. Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) test fired PINAKA guided WEAPON rocket system from Pokhran range in Rajasthan.
      1. DRDO ALSO successfully test-fired indigenously designed and developed Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM), a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), developed by DRDO in association with VEM Technologies Ltd.
    4. Jammu and Kashmir government proposed monthly stipend of INR 6000 and jobs for those who Shun (Leave) militancy.
    5. New visa agreement between India and Maldives came into force, providing a liberal visa policy for Maldivian citizens seeking medical treatment as well as education and business opportunities in India.
    6. C Lalsawta appointed as first Chairman of newly-constituted Lokayukta in Mizoram.
    7. Axis Bank appointed Rakesh Makhija as its non-executive chairman for 3 years, to replace Sanjiv Misra, whose term expires on July 17.
    8. Delhi government’s Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) has set up a 17-member committee to “reform higher education”, chaired by DDC vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah.
    9. UK Members of Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), for second time, by 391 to 242 votes.
    10. Aditya Kumar Misra has been appointed as new Chairman of the Agricultural Scientific Recruitment Board (ASRB).
    11. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) withdrew 20% limit on investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors in corporate bonds of an entity, in accordance with a RBI circular.
    12. India ranked 16th in terms of highest number of impacted species in biodiversity-rich zone is (also known as hotspots) due to human actions. In India, 35 species affected on an average in biodiversity-rich zones.
    13. A new coin that features Crimea or Kerch Strait Bridge released by Russia’s central bank, to mark Crimea reunification with Russia.
    14. Social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu, Padmanaban Gopalan (founder of No Food Waste) has been named winner of Commonwealth Youth Award for Asian region, worth 3,000 Pounds.
    15. M R Kumar has been appointed as new Chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
    16. RBI categorised IDBI Bank as a private sector lender following acquisition of majority stake by Life Insurance Corporation. In January, LIC completed picking up a controlling 51% stake in IDBI Bank.
    17. Supreme Court appointed PS Narasimha as a mediator for resolving various disputes related to cricket administration within Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  22. Mar 10, 2019
    1. General Conferenes (Mar 1 - 10, 2019) -
      1. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology at Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), as an academic wing of ASI under Ministry of Culture. Aim is to provide opportunity to students to achieve excellence in archaeology.
      2. Uttarakhand Govt. laid foundation stone for Dehradun-Mussoorie ropeway project, considered to be a tourist novelty. Project cost is 300 crores and expected to be completed in 3 years. French company Poma will provide technical support to the project.
      3. Construction Technology India-2019 Biennial Expo-cum-conference held in New Delhi. PM Narendra Modi declared ‘April 2019-March 2020’ as Construction-Technology year.
        1. Six cities have been identified to locate Lighthouse projects that will serve as “Live Laboratories”. These are 1. Rajkot (Gujarat) 2. Ranchi (Jharkhand) 3. Indore (Madhya Pradesh) 4. Chennai (Tamil Nadu) 5. Agartala (Tripura) & 6. Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
      4. Azaadi ke Diwane museum dedicated to unsung heroes of country’s freedom struggle, inaugurated at Red Fort premises in Delhi.
      5. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) held Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2019 - Software edition Grand Finale at 49 different centers across India, with over 34,000 ideas evaluated.
        1. Software Problems Statements proposed - 8
        2. Shortlisted Teams for Grand Finale - 32
        3. No. of Youngsters competing in Grand Finale - 256
        4. Nodal Center for Grand Finale - IIT Kanpur
        5. IIT- Kharagpur students devised a code for a Smartphone application to address problem of detecting fake Indian currency. A user can upload a currency note image and mobile app would verify its authenticity using 25 features.
      6. Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 secured place in Guinness Book of World Records for the largest crowd management, largest sanitation drive and largest painting exercise of public sites.
      7. A Guinness World Record in Yoga was set by more than a thousand people who performed Virabathrasan or the Warrior II Pose for 3 minutes, in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Hong Kong.
      8. Ministry of Commerce & Industry organized 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships, in New Delhi.
      9. 2nd edition of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) 2019 organised in Manekshaw Centre (New Delhi).
      10. Inaugural India-Japan Space Dialogue held in New Delhi, with countries exploring ways to step up cooperation between their space agencies.
      11. Construction Technology India 2019 Conference Held in New Delhi.
    2. Visits to India (Mar 1 - 10, 2019) -
      1. Vice President of Argentina, Mrs. Gabriela Michetti visited India.
      2. Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih visited India. 
    3. Visits from India (Mar 1 - 10, 2019) -
      1. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu visited Siem Reap in Cambodia for 7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Intersessional Ministerial Meeting (7th RCEP ISSL MM).
      2. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Visited Paraguay (South America) and Costa Rica (Central America)
        1. Paraguay -
          1. It was first ever visit of an Indian Vice President to the Republic of Paraguay. He is highest-level representative of India to visit Paraguay since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1961.
          2. Unveiled a special commemorative postage stamp on M K Gandhi and remembered his contributions on occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi.
        2. Costa Rica -
          1. Visit of Vice President to Costa Rica was first ever high-level visit from India to Costa Rica.
          2. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu was conferred Honorary Doctorate by University of Peace founded by the United Nations Organisations (UNO) , in Costa Rican capital of San Jose.
          3. India and Costa Rica signed two agreements on waiving visa requirements for Diplomatic and Official passport holders and signing of the Letter of Intent to collaborate in the field of Biotechnology.
    4. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi felicitated 30 winners of ‘Web Wonder Women’ contest organized by Ministry of Women and Child Development.
      1. Ministry of Women and Child Development launched online campaign Web- Wonder Women to honor exceptional achievements of women, who have been driving positive agenda of social change via social media.
    5. China launched its broadband communication system ChinaSat 6C, as 300th launch of Long March carrier rocket series.
    6. Mizoram Cabinet approved Liquor Prohibition Bill 2019, to be introduced in state Assembly during Budget session which begins on March 20, 2019. Earlier, liquor was completely prohibited in Mizoram from 1997 to January 2015 under Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act. From March 2015, Lal Thanwala government allowed re-opening of wine shops in the state.
    7. State Bank of India became first domestic bank to link interest rate it offers on savings account deposits to an external benchmark - RBI’s repo rate. SBI announced several changes -
      1. Savings accounts with deposits above Rs 1 lakh would be priced at 2.75% below prevailing repo rate of 6.25%. Effective rate works out to be 3.5%, unchanged from prevailing rate on savings accounts.
      2. Cash credit accounts and overdraft facilities over Rs 1 lakh would be priced at 2.25% over the repo rate. At prevailing repo rate of 6.25%, this would mean a floor price of 8.5%.
      3. These loans will continue to be linked to 1-year MCLR (marginal cost lending rate).
    8. Election Commission of India Announced Schedule for Lok Sabha 2019 elections, starting from April 11, in seven phases. Code of Conduct (Achhar Sabhita) for parties begins from 10th March -
      1. There are close to 90 crore eligible voters. Date of counting will be on the 23rd of May 2019.
      2. Schedule of Lok Sabha polls -
        1. Phase one - 11th April 2019,
        2. Phase two - 18th April 2019,
        3. Phase three - 23rd April 2019,
        4. Phase four - 29th April 2019,
        5. Phase five - 06th May 2019,
        6. Phase six - 12th May 2019,
        7. Phase seven - 19th May 2019,
        8. Date of counting- 23rd May 2019.
    9. South Korea's Korea Exim Bank offered extend a Rs 4,100 crore loan for Visakhapatnam (VIZAG) Metro Rail project.
    10. India Cooling Action Plan released by Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi, aimed at reducing emissions and providing thermal comfort to citizens.
      1. It provides a 20-year perspective to address the cooling requirements across various sectors and recommends ways to provide access to sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for people.
      2. Government planS to achieve 30% reductions in cooling energy requirement by improving energy efficiency of room ACs and fans, better servicing and optimized operations in cold chains.
      3. Government also plans to provide training to 1 lakh service technicians to ensure optimum usage of currently installed air conditions.
      4. Plan states that plan to phase out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) is already underway, and under second phase, most common refrigerant – HCFC-22 would be phased out from six major room AC brands by 2022.
      5. Targets -
        1. Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38.
        2. Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38.
        3. Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.
    11. Mohammad Shtayyeh has been named as new Palestinian Prime Minister, by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
    12. PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, aiming a massive makeover of holy shrine and its surrounding areas. Its first makeover for this shrine after 1780 AD when the Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore renovated the temple.
      1. Project proposed 50-feet corridor will directly connect Ganga’s Manikarnika and Lalita Ghat to the Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple, along with other developmental works. Total cost of project is 600 crores.
    13. Supreme Court proposed a court-monitored mediation in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to arrive at a permanent solution to the politically and religiously sensitive issue. Panel will be headed by Justice Kalifullah.
    14. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) reduced MRP of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines, by up to 87%.
    15. India launched its 3rd IT corridor in China, with India's National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) partnering with China’s Xuzhou city from Jiangsu Province. Earlier 2 corridors launched at Dalian and Guiyang cities.
    16. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan handed over 7 Croreth LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
      1. PMUY was launched in May 2016 with target of 5 crore LPG connections, which was later revised to 8 crores.
      2. PMUY aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG.
      3. Under this, LPG connections are provided to BPL families with a support of 1600 per connection.
      4. An option is provided to provide a loan at zero interest to buy cooking stove and first refill which has to be paid by beneficiary.
  23. Mar 09, 2019
    1. Government approved establishment of 2 new benches of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), one at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh and the other at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. At present Andhra Pradesh comes under Jurisdiction of NCLT Bench at Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh comes under jurisdiction of NCLT Bench, Ahmedabad.
    2. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOCs) LNG terminal at Ennore (Tamilnadu), built at cost of 5151 crores inside Kamaraj Port. Capacity of LNG terminal is 5-million tonnes per annum (MMTPA).
    3. RBI notified norms for banks with regards to 2 % interest subvention or subsidy for short-term crop loans during 2018-19 and 2019-20 under interest subvention scheme approved by the central government.
      1. Central government provides short term crop loan up to one year for a loan up to Rs. 3 lakhs. RBI circular notes that interest subvention of 2 % will be calculated on crop loan amount from date of its disbursement up to date of actual repayment of crop loan by farmer or up to due date of loan fixed by banks whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum period of 1 year.
      2. For Farmers repaying loan promptly, additional 2 % interest subvention is provided. This brings down effective rate of short-term crop loans to be 4 % per annum.
    4. RBI issued new norms for white label ATMs, increasing avenues of revenue earning for white label ATMs -
      1. White Label ATMs are set up, owned and operated by non-bank entities. White Label ATM operators are entitled to receive a fee from banks for use of ATM resources by bank’s customers. At present there are 8 White Label ATM operators in the country.
      2. New Guidelines -
        1. White Label ATM Operators are now allowed to buy wholesale cash, above a threshold of 1 lakh pieces (and in multiples thereof) of any denomination, from RBI, currency chests, or Banks.
        2. White Label ATM Operators can also offer bill payment and Interoperable Cash Deposit services, subject to technical feasibility and certification by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
        3. White Label ATM Operators can also display advertisements pertaining to non-financial products or services within WLA premises.
        4. Banks can issue co-branded ATM cards in partnership with the authorised White Label ATM operators.
    5. Government approved Strategic Disinvestment of 100% GOI shares in DCIL in favour of consortium of 4 ports, namely, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Deendayal Port Trust (formely Knadla Port Trust). 73.47% holding of  GOI in DCI has been transferred to 4 ports, with Visakhapatnam Port Trust holding 19.47 % and others holding 18 % each.
    6. Ministry of Power expanded its Standards & Labelling (Star Rating) program for Energy Efficient for Appliances to cover Microwave Ovens and Washing Machines. Initially, program for these 2 appliances will be implemented on a voluntary basis and will be valid up to 31-12-2020.
      1. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)has developed a national strategy document for accelerating energy efficiency in India, titled UNNATEE (Unlocking NATional Energy Efficiency potential). It describes a plain framework and implementation strategy to establish a clear linkage between energy supply-demand scenarios and energy efficiency opportunities.
    7. Government appointed Subhash Chandra Garg as Finance Secretary, replacing Ajay Narayan Jha who retired recently. Conventionally, senior-most among 5 secretaries in Finance Ministry is designated as Finance Secretary.
    8. Government has set-up a five member committee to examine the issues related to framing of a proper, structured scheme for providing of insurance cover to the advocates and also suggest modalities for the implementation of such scheme. Commitee will be chaired by Secretary Legal Affairs (Alok Srivastava Currently).
    9. Assam government announced various awards in field of culture, for promotion of dance and music -
      1. Srimanta Sankardev Award 2017 - Basistha Dev Sharma
      2. Madhavdev Award 2016 - Jagadananda Chandra Goswami
      3. Madhavdev Award 2019 - Sunil Kothari
      4. Kalicharan Brahma Award 2018 - Satradhikar of Borengajuli Srimanta Sankardev Satra
    10. MoU signed between HP (Hewlett-Packard) and Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society (APIS) and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) for constructing a Center of Excellence (CoE) for additive manufacturing powered by HP’s 3D printing technology.
    11. Bernard Arnault, chairman of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) overtook Warren Buffett as third-richest person in world, on Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth is $83.1 billion.
    12. AU Small Finance Bank partnered with Acko General Insurance Limited, to provide customized insurance products to its customers.
    13. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) released pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services under Aadhar Regulations 2019. Private entities will now pay Rs 0.50 (tax included) for each Yes or No authentication transaction and Rs 20 (Inclusive of Taxes ) for e-KYC authentication.
    14. Spiritual teacher Kamlesh Patel, popularly known as Daaji, released his new book Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way.
    15. Government approved Surat Metro Rail Project having two Metro Rail Corridors with combined length of 40.35 km. project will be completed in 5 years at an estimated project cost of Rs. 12020 Crores.
      1. Corridor-1, Sarthana to Dream city line is 21.61 Kms comprising of  underground corridor of 6.47 km &  elevated corridor of 15.14 km.
      2.  Corridor-2, Bhesan to saroli line is 18.74 kms and is completely elevated corridor.
    16. Prasar Bharati brought 11 new State DD Channels on Satellite footprint of India through DD Free Dish. This includes five channels for Northeastern states. States of Chhattisgarh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Uttarakhand got their own Doordarshan channels on DD Free Dish for first time.
    17. President Ram Nath Kovind launched Pulse Polio programme for 2019 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old. More than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops, to sustain polio eradication from country.
    18. 2019 Abierto Mexicano Telcel Tennis Title (Mexico) -
      1. Men's Singles - Nick Kyrgios (Australia)
      2. Women's Singles - Wang Yafan (China)
      3. Men's Doubles - Germany's Alexander Zverev AND Mischa Zverev
      4. Women's Doubles - Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) AND Zheng Saisai (China)
    19. Marayoor Jaggery, traditional and handmade product from Idukki district of Kerala, received Geographical Indication (GI) tag from Central Government. This will provide more opportunities to traditional sugarcane farmers in Marayoor.
  24. Mar 08, 2019
    1. Mar 08 - International Women’s Day.
      1. 2019 theme is Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.
      2. A MoU signed between Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry, which aims to impart skill-training and employment to women.
        1. MoU shall be valid for 3 years and will be implemented by Rashtriya Mahila Kosh and National Skill Development Council.
        2. Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 presented by President Ram Nath Kovind, to 41 women achievers.
      3. NASA announced that it will be conducting first-ever all-female spacewalk. Astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain will exit International Space Station on March 29, 35 years after first woman performed a spacewalk.
      4. National Women Livelihood Meet 2019, held at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
    2. Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (PM-STIAC) identified 9 national missions to address major scientific challenges to ensure India’s sustainable development.
      1. Natural Language
      2. Quantum Frontier
      3. Artificial Intelligence
      4. National Biodiversity Mission
        1. Comprehensive documentation of India’s biodiversity with the potential for cataloguing and mapping all lifeforms in India including associated cultural and traditional practices.
      5. Electric Vehicles
      6. BioScience for Human Health
        1. Aims to construct comprehensive reference maps of genomes and understand dynamics of how exposure to different environments have an impact on our bodies.
      7. Waste To Wealth
        1. Deploy technologies to treat waste to generate energy, recycle materials and extract worth.
      8. Deep Ocean Exploration
      9. Agnii
        1. aims to support the national efforts to boost the innovation ecosystem in the country by connecting innovators across the industry, individuals and the grassroots to the market and helping commercialise innovative solutions
    3. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and France Space Agency CNES signed an agreement to set up a maritime surveillance centre in India. Training ISRO and CNES also agreed to jointly train Indian Scientists for the ‘Gaganyaan’ project at Toulouse Space Centre in France.
    4. Venezuelan government has announced to expel German ambassador Daniel Kriener from country.
    5. Ministry of Finance enhanced income tax exemption for gratuity under section 10 (10) (iii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to Rs. 20 lakhs, to benefit employees of PSUs and other employees not covered by Payment of Gratuity Act 1972.
    6. India's Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) and Australia's Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS) signed MOU to explore opportunities including feasibility of technical knowledge sharing in the area of occupational safety, health and welfare of persons engaged in mining operations.
    7. Book as Compilation of selected speeches of PM Narendra Modi, titled Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas has been released. Coffee Table Book Cruising New Heights- Flying For All was also released, depicting achievements of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    8. National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) collaborated with Google Arts & Culture for ‘Once Upon a Try’: Epic journeys of invention and discovery - the largest online exhibition about inventions and discoveries ever curated. 6 Sections in exhibition are - Historic Beginnings, Ayurveda, Susruta Samhita, Rasashala, Itrand Musical Instruments from the Indian Subcontinent.
    9. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed Agreement with World Bank Group Member International Finance Corporation (IFC), to assist IBBI to further build capacity of Insolvency Professionals, and Insolvency Professional Agencies for purposes of the Code .
      1. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (Code) provides for re-organisation and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner.
    10. Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport named best airport in category of over 40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) in Asia Pacific by Airports Council International (ACI) in Airport Service Quality Programme for 2018. Also, Odisha's Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) named best in 2-5 million passengers category.
    11. Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana launched by Uttarakhand Govt, aiming to provide 100 ml milk twice a week, free of cost, to 2.5 lakh children at 20,000 Anganwadi kendras of Uttarakhand.
    12. Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan chosen for ‘Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018’ for his contribution to economic development. Yashwantrao Chavan was first CM of Maharashtra.
    13. Maharashtra government launched a special scheme for construction workers in state, named Atal Aahar Yojana. It will provide good quality food to construction workers at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 5.
    14. Indian Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has been named Chief Scientist at WHO (World Health Organization).
    15. Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri launched e-Dharti app where all the three modules- Conversion, Substitution and Mutation related to properties have been made online. Public can submit applications online by visiting Land and Development Office website.
    16. PM Narendra Modi released Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947), the 5 volume dictionary which contains account of martyrs from India’s First War of Independence in 1857, to India’s Independence in 1947.
    17. India and Russia signed agreement for leasing of a nuclear-powered attack submarine for Indian Navy for 10 years, at cost of 3 Billion USD. Russia will deliver Akula class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to Indian Navy by 2025. Chakra III weighing around 8,140-ton will have submerged speed of 30 knots and an operating depth of 530 meters and will be capable of carrying a crew of 73.
      1. India earlier leased christened INS Chakra which is first Russian nuclear powered submarine in 1988 under a 3 year lease. 2nd lease was INS Chakra in 2012 for 10 years.
    18. Jagdish Mukhi has been appointed as Governor of Mizoram, after Kummanam Rajasekharan Resigned from post.
    19. Indian-American Padma Lakshmi appointed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its Goodwill Ambassador, supporting agency’s fight against inequality and discrimination around the world.
    20. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports granted provisional recognition to All India Carrom Federation (AICF) as National Sport Federation, to facilitate participation of Indian Athletes in forthcoming competitions.
  25. Mar 07, 2019
    1. Government observed 7th March 2019 as ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’, for providing further impetus & creating awareness about use of generic medicines.
    2. PM Narendra Modi flagged off Nagpur Metro, with 13.5 km long, Khapri- Sitabuldi section.
      1. Nagpur Metro is 11th Metro Rail System to become operational In India, After Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai, Kochi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad.
      2. Navi Mumbai, Pune and Bhopal Metro Systems are under construction while Indore, Agra, Kanpur, Patna, Surat, Meerut, Vizag, Varanasi and Doon Valley Metro Systems are under planning.
    3. Cabinet Approvals (Mar 07, 2019) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved Constitution of a Committee to recommend process for conferring / recognizing ownership or transfer / mortgage rights to the residents of Unauthorized Colonies (UCs) in Delhi. It will be chaired by Lt. Governor of Delhi (Anil Baijal currently).
        2. Approved Measures to promote Hydro Power Sector, including Declaring Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) -
          1. Large Hydropower Projects to be declared as  Renewable  Energy source (as per existing practice, only hydropower projects less than 25MW are categorized as Renewable Energy).
          2. Tariff rationalization measures including providing flexibility to developers to determine tariff  by back loading of tariff after increasing project life to 40 years,  increasing debt repayment period to 18 years and introducing escalating tariff of 2%.
          3. Budgetary support for funding cost of enabling infrastructure i.e. roads and bridges limited to 1.5 crore per MW for upto 200 MW projects and 1.0 crore per MW for above 200 MW projects.
        3. Approved Continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), incurring expenditure up to Rs. 1000 crore till 2019-20 by Atal Innovation Mission for expanding Atal Tinkering Labs to 10,000 schools in view of their huge success at school level.
          1. Each ATL receives aid of Rs. 12 lakhs in first year, and upto 2 lakhs per year for subsequent 4 years, for maintenance of the ATL equipment and operational expenses.
          2. Each selected AIC would be receiving grant in aid upto Rs 10 crore over 3-5 years in tranches per year, based on review and evidence of planned milestones reached.
          3. Innovators will receive commercialization and technology deployment grants upto Rs. 1 crore under the ANICs.
          4. Under ATL program, more than 10,000 schools are expected to establish these labs by 2020.
          5. Over 100 Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) are likely to established around country, supporting at least 50-60 startups each over first five years.
        4. Approved proposal of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for surrendering encroached AAI’s land measuring 106.76 acres situated at Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal to State Government of Madhya Pradesh (M.P).
        5. Approved Delhi Metro's Phase -4 project comprising of 3 - priority corridors with length 61.679 km (22.359 km underground and 39.320 km elevated). These corridors will consist of 46 stations, of which 17 stations will be underground and 29 elevated. Cost will be Rs.24,948.65 crores.
          1. Aerocity to Tughlakabad - 15 Stations
          2. R. K Ashram to Janakpuri West - 25 Stations
          3. Maujpur - Mukundpur - 6 Stations
        6. Approved proposal for promulgation of Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Ordinance, 2019, considering University/ College as a unit instead of Department/ Subject, to improve teaching standards in higher educational institutions to attract all eligible talented candidates.
        7. Approved grant of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities to World War-II Veterans, Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs), Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) and pre-mature retirees. Now, over 43,000 individuals not covered so far under ECHS will be able to avail benefits of cashless medical treatment under ECHS facilities.
        8. Approved Scheme to Rebate State and Central Embedded Taxes to Support the Textile Sector, to enable Government to take various measures for making exports of apparel and made-ups zero rated. It is expected to make textile sector competitive.
        9. Approved Setting up of a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, to drive clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives. Also Approved -
          1. Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) valid for 5 years till 2024 to support setting up of a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India.
          2. Creation of a PMP valid for 5 years till 2024 to localize production across the entire Electric Vehicles value chain.
          3. National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage will be chaired by CEO NITI Aayog (Amitabh Kant Currently).
            1. It will recommend strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for EVs, EV Components and Batteries.
            2. A phased roadmap to implement battery manufacturing at Giga-scale will be considered with initial focus on large-scale module and pack assembly plants by 2019-20, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22. It will drive mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the industry, economy and country.
        10. Approved Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP) for Flood Management Works, River Management Activities and works related to Border Areas for period 2017-18 to 2019-20, with outlay of 3342 crores.
          1. FMBAP will be implemented for effective flood management, erosion control and anti-sea erosion. Catchment area treatment works will help in reduction of sediment load into rivers.  
            1. Fuunding for works in general category States will be 50% (Centre) : 50% (State), and 70% (Centre) : 30% (State) for projects of North Eastern States, Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand
            2. FMBAP has been framed by merging components of two continuing XII Plan schemes titledFlood Management Programme (FMP) and River Management Activities and Works related to Border Areas (RMBA).
            3. Scheme also caters to Hydro-meteorological observations and Flood Forecasting on common rivers with neighbouring countries.
      2. MOUs -
        1. UK - Cancer Research Initiative.
        2. Germany - Occupational Safety and Health.
        3. MoU between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Civil Service Council of Mongolia (CSCM).
        4. Approved MOU signed in 2008 and renewed in 2014 between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
        5. Austria - Technical Cooperation in Road Infrastructure Sector.
        6. Approved Amendment to Agreement with Bhutan, regarding Mandechhu Hydro Electric Project (MHEP) in order to extend loan repayment tenure by two years extended by India to Bhutan, from 15 to 17 years.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved setting up of 50 new KendriyaVidyalayas under Civil/Defence Sector all over country.
        2. Approved continuation of National AIDS Control Programme-IV (NACP-IV) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period of three years from April, 2017 to March, 2020.   The total outlay will be 6434.76 crores.
        3. Approved Phase-IIIA of Mumbai Urban Transport Project, with estimated cost 30,849 crores and completion cost of 33690 crore.  Project is likely to be completed in five years
        4. Approved 3rd line between Narayangarh & Bhadrak (155 Km) on South Eastern Railway, with cost 1866 Crores.
        5. Approved investment approval for 2x660MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in District Bulandshahar of Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs.11,089.42 crore and Amelia Coal Mine in District Singraulli, Madhya Pradesh. project will be implemented at cost of Rs. 1587.16 crore by THDC India.
          1. Khurja STPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of capacity 660 MW each.
          2. Amelia Coal Mine was allotted to THDC India Limited by Ministry of Coal in January 2017.
          3. Uttar Pradesh Govt signed Power Purchase Agreement with THDCIndia Limited for purchase of 60% Power from Project and other beneficiary states - Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.
        6. Approved investment approval for 2x660 MW Buxar Thermal Power Project (Buxar TPP) in District Buxar of Bihar. The project will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 10,439.09 crore and implemented by SJVN Thermal Private Ltd (subsidiary of SJVN Ltd).
          1. Buxar TPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of 660 MW each. It will improve deficit power scenario in Bihar and Eastern region. Bihar govt signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for supply of over 85% of generated power.
        7. Approved investment sanction for acquisition of M/s Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (LTHPL) and execution of balance work of the Teesta Stage-Vl HE Project by NHPC Ltd in Sikkim.
          1. Project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 5748.04 crores, which includes Bid amount of Rs 907 crore for acquisition of LTHPL and estimated cost of balance work of Rs. 3863.95 crore.
          2. Teesta Stage-Vl HE Project is a Run of River (RoR) Scheme in Sirwani Village of Sikkim to utilize the power potential of Teesta River Basin in cascade manner.
          3. The project would generate 2400 MUs in a 90% dependable year with Installed Capacity of 500 MW (4x125MW).
        8. Approved investment sanction for construction of Kiru Hydro Electric(HE) Project (624 MW) by M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s CVPPPL) in Jammu & Kashmir.
          1. Project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs.4287.59 crores.
          2. CVPPPL is a venture amongst NHPC, Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) and PTC with equity shareholding of 49%, 49% and 2% respectively.
          3. Project is located on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
          4. Kiru HE Project is envisaged as a Run of River (RoR) Scheme, designed complying with the requirements of Indus Water Treaty 1960, with installed capacity 624 MW (4 x 156 MW). The Project would generate 2272.02 MU in a 90% dependable year.
        9. Approved recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine specific recommendations of High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) constituted to address issues of Stressed Thermal Power Projects, headed by cabinet secretary P K Sinha. With implementation of concerned recommendations, many issues affecting Thermal Power Sector may get resolved.
        10. Approved extension of time and scope for revival and development of un-served and under-served air strips of State Governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Civil enclaves, CPSUs, helipads and water aerodromes at the total cost of 4500 crores.
          1. In the first round of UDAN bidding, 128 routes were assigned to 5 airline operators for 43 un-served/underserved airports/airstrips.
          2. In 2nd round of RCS bidding, 86 proposals involving 325 routes were awarded to 15 selected airline operators.
        11. Approved 2790 crore towards interest subvention for extending indicative loan amount of 12900 crore by banks to sugar mills under “Scheme for extending financial assistance to sugar mills for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity” for 268 applications/proposals, in addition to 1332 crore already approved by CCEA in June, 2018. Benefits include -
          1. Improving liquidity of sugar mills by value addition to revenues from supply of ethanol under Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP);
          2. Reducing sugar inventories and thereby facilitate timely clearance of cane price dues of farmers and
          3. Achieving 10% blending target of EBP.
    4. Govt. dedicated to the nation a 1,000-megawatt (MW) thermal power project of Neyveli Tamil Nadu Power Ltd (NTPL) at Thoothukudi and a 150-MW solar power projects of Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL) at Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar districts in Tamil Nadu.
    5. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ for financial assistance to craftsmen. Craftsmen with 10 years of experience and having annual income below Rs.1 lakh are eligible to get an assistance of Rs.800 per month, INR 800 For craftsmen above 80 years.
    6. As per british Site, India has cheapest mobile data in world, with 1 GB costing just Rs 18.5, compared to global average INR 600.
      1. With over 430 million smartphone users, India is second largest smartphone market after China. The price crash was triggered by Reliance Jio.
      2. India is followed by Kyrgyzstan where 1 GB data is available for $0.27, Kazakhstan (0.49) and Ukraine (0.51). Zimbabwe is most expensive country where average cost of 1 GB data comes at $75.20.
      3. One GB of mobile data in China costs $9.89. In Pakistan, 1 GB is available for $1.85.
    7. National Housing Bank (NHB) imposed stricter regulations on Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to prevent them from falling prey to liquidity and credit risks.
      1. Increasing capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of HFCs from 12%to 15%, by 31st March 2022.
      2. Bringing down public borrowings to 12 times of the Net Owned Fund (NOF) from existing 16 times, by March 2022.
      3. Capping ceiling on public deposits at 3 times of Net Owned Fund (NOF) of the Housing Finance Company (HFC).
    8. Forbes' Billionaires list Ranked India's Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani at 13th Rank with USD 50 billion wealth.
      1. India has 106 billionaires, with Wipro Chairman Azim Premji ranked 2nd in India and 36th overall with USD 22.6 billion wealth.
      2. List topped by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with USD 131 billion wealth, followed by Bill Gates (USD 96.5 bn) and Warren Buffet (USD 82.5 bn).
    9. Delhi Govt launched a new mobile application named ONE DELHI, aiming to be universal journey planner app for all commuters in capital with several features such as accessing real-time arrival of all cluster buses at any bus stop and static data of DTC buses.
    10. Maharashtra Govt unveiled State’s new 5 year industrial policy to be effective from 1st April, 2019. It will create nearly 40 lakh Jobs by 2023-24 and goal is to turn Maharashtra into a trillion dollar (one lakh crore) economy.
    11. Ancient tribal language Gondi will be taught in tribal districts in Madhya Pradesh, including Gondi in primary education curriculum of state’s tribal-dominated districts.
    12. National Green Tribunal slapped fine of Rs 500 crore on German auto major Volkswagen for damaging environment through the use of “cheat device” in its diesel cars in India.
    13. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a working group on the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). It will be chaired by Dinesh Arora. It will submit report on how to detect and deter fraud through a common repository and capacity-building.
    14. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD) has cut forecast for global economy in 2019 and 2020. It stated that world economy would grow 3.3 percent in 2019 and 3.4 percent in 2020, with cuts of 0.2 % points for 2019 and 0.1 % points for 2020, compared to earlier forecasts issued in November.
    15. PM Narendra Modi released new series of visually impaired friendly circulation coins of Rs 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20.  Except for 12-edged polygon (dodecagon) shaped 20 coin, rest of the denomination coins are of round shape.
    16. National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories launched a voluntary scheme called Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for basic composite medical laboratories, for sensitising small laboratories to basic doable quality practices. It will transform over 5000 laboratories over the next 5 years.
      1. Laboratories performing only basic routine tests like blood glucose, blood counts, rapid tests for common infections, liver and kidney function tests and routine tests of urine are eligible to apply under the scheme. 
      2. Through this , patients availing services of small labs in primary health centers, community health centers, doctor’s clinic, standalone small labs, labs in small nursing homes will also have access to quality lab results.
      3. Under this, government plans to set up 1, 50,000 wellness centers that will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
    17. Japanese Architect Arata Isozaki received Pritzker Prize 2019, as 8th architect from Japan to win Pritzker Prize. It contains prize of $100,000 . Pritzker Prize is an annual award to honour excellence in architecture.
    18. West Bengal Govt. unveiled a new scheme Yuvashree Plan II or Yuvashree Arpan to encourage entrepreneurship among youth. Youths who have passed out of ITI or other polytechnic institutes will be eligible to get financial support of 1 Lakh,to set up their own businesses.
    19. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change amended Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 to completely ban the import of solid plastic waste.
      1. To ensure that ban doesn’t adversely impact ease of doing business, amendment allows the reverse import of defective electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, within a year of export.
    20. American Actress Kylie Jenner named youngest self-made billionaire of all time by Forbes magazine, at age of 21 years. Her wealth is mainly due to her Cosmetics brand set up in 2015.
  26. Mar 06, 2019
    1. As per latest Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted in collaboration with Nielsen Holdings, Global consumer confidence in India is at peak. India had a Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) score of 133 in 4th quarter of 2018, getting past Philippines (131) and Indonesia (127).
    2. President Ram Nath Kovind approved an Ordinance which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as ID proof for opening bank accounts and obtaining mobile SIM. It gives effect to changes in Aadhaar Act such as giving a child an option to exit from biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age.
      1. Rajya Sabha could not approve the Bill even though Lok Sabha has given its assent. In this situation an ordinance is necessary as per law.
      2. It also bans storing core biometric information including Aadhaar number by service providers in case where an individual has offered Aadhaar for authentication.
    3. SEBI approved lowering of fees charged from brokers, stock exchange and companies seeking to get listed, to make more cost-effective trade in Indian stock market.
      1. Fees for brokers is reduced by 33.33% from Rs.15 per crore of transactions to Rs.10.
      2. For agri-commodity derivative transactions, fee would be reduced sharply by 93.33% from Rs.15 to just Rs 1.
    4. Indian-American teenager Kavya Kopparapu has been awarded by National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education Award 2019, for her invention in enhancing treatments of glioblastoma, deadliest form of brain cancer.
    5. Sanjeev Ranjan has been appointed as as secretary in Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
    6. Rakesh Kumar Vats appointed as Secretary-General of Medical Council of India.
    7. Tamil Nadu became first state to introduce Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) in government hospitals. TAVI is performed on old-age heart patients who cannot undergo an open-heart surgery and involves replacement of valve through a keyhole procedure.
    8. Tripura musician Thanga Darlong has been awarded with first Atal Behari Vajpayee Life Time Award at 37th Agartala Book Fair. He is last tribal musician who plays Rosem which is a flute-like musical instrument made of bamboo.
    9. Book “Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way”, written by Kamlesh Patel has been released.
    10. Life Insurance Corporation Housing Finance Ltd (LICHFL) partnered with India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) to offer home buyers enhanced loan eligibility and easy loans, enabling it to offer extended loan tenure for borrowers till age of 75 years.
    11. Kaja Kallas, leader of the Reform Party has been appointed as first female Prime Minister of Estonia (Northern Europe).
    12. Ajit Singh (Former Chief Justice of Gauhati HC) has been appointed as first Lokayukta of Odisha.
  27. Mar 05, 2019
    1. Mexican open Tennis 2019 -
      1. Men’s Singles - Nick Kyrgios (Australia), defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
      2. Women’s Singles - Wang Yafan(China)
      3. Men’s Doubles - Alexander Zverev(Germany) AND Mischa Zverev(Germany)
      4. Women’s Doubles - Victoria Azarenka(Belarus) AND Zheng Saisai(China)
    2. IDBI Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) signed a bancassurance agreement under which Bank will offer LIC’s insurance products at its branches. United Bank of India also signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company.
    3. Insurance FirmICICI Lombard partnered with Hyderabad based peer-to-peer lending platform (ATL) to provide insurance cover for its lenders and borrowers.
    4. UAE based company will release 12 bank notes of zero value which is the first ever limited edition commemorative series to mark the 150th birth anniversary of M K Gandhi, designed by Dubai based Indian artist Akbar Saheb. He was also main illustrator for PM Narendra Modi’s book ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
    5. British Indian World War II spy, Noor Inayat Khan, became first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque at 4 Taviton Street in Bloomsbury, London (her former home). She was captured and killed by Nazis in 1944 at age of 30 years. The Blue Plaque scheme honours notable people who lived or worked in particular buildings across London.
    6. Researchers discovered “methane hydrates“, a potential fuel of future just two meters below the sea-floor in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin off the coast Andhra Pradesh in Bay of Bengal. This is the first report on the discovery of an active methane seepage site.
    7. RBI approved merger of DBS Bank Ltd.’s Indian business unit with its wholly owned local subsidiary. Singapore-based DBS Bank is the second overseas bank to follow the wholly owned subsidiary model in India after State Bank of Mauritius.
    8. National Health Authority (NHA), which is responsible for implementation of Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) signed MoU with Cab Aggregator Uber, to provide free healthcare services to Uber drivers.
    9. English Cricketer Alastair Cook has been awarded knighthood for his services to cricket,by Queen Elizabeth II.
    10. NITI Aayog Released Delta rankings of 112 Aspirational Districts for Nov - Dec 2018 and Dec 2018 - Jan 2019. Out of 115 total aspirational districts, 3 from west bengal did not participate in rankings.
      1. Nov 2018 - Dec 2018 Dela Rankings -
        1. Overall - Hailakandi (Assam), followed by Kondagaon (Chhattisgarh)
        2. Health and Nutrition - Kondagaon (Chhattisgarh, Followed by Purbi Singhbhum (Jharkhand)
        3. Education - Hailakandi (Assam), Followed by Khunti (Jharkhand)
        4. Agriculture and Water Resources - Y.S.R. Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh), Followed by Damoh (Madhya Pradesh)
        5. Financial Inclusion and Skill Development - Gajapati  (Odisha)
        6. Basic Infrastructure - Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh)
      2. Dec 2018 - Jan 2019 Delta Rankings -
        1. Overall - Chatra (Jharkhand), Followed by Sahibganj (Jharkhand) and Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).
        2. Health and Nutrition - Chatra (Jharkhand), Followed by Sahibganj (Jharkhand) and Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).
        3. Education - Sonbhadra (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), Chatra, (Jharkhand).
        4. Agriculture and Water Resources - Jamui (Bihar)
        5. Financial Inclusion and Skill Development - Mewat (Haryana)
        6. Basic Infrastructure - Ribhoi (Meghalaya)
  28. Mar 04, 2019
    1. As per BCG-IBA Report - EASE Reforms for Public Sector Banks, Punjab National Bank (PNB) ranked at top among all public sector banks in implementation of ‘Reforms agenda’. PNB was followed by BoB (77.8), SBI (74.6), and Oriental Bank of Commerce (69).
    2. IFFCO Tokio General Insurance launched ‘bank locker protector policy’, the first stand-alone bank locker cover offered by any insurance company with a plan to protect contents of a bank locker such as jewelry, title documents, and other valuables. It offers 7 options of sum insured ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 40 lakh.
    3. 'Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi scheme launched by Haryana Govt, for farmers with cultivation land up to 5 acres and income less than 15,000 per month. It would provide 6,000 yearly to such farmers.
    4. Assam filmmaker Rima Das won Dublin Film Critics Circle Jury Award for Best Director for her film “Bulbul Can Sing” at 2019 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival (Ireland).
    5. Google launched new app named ‘Bolo’ that aims to help children in primary school learn to read in Hindi and English.It features an animated character ‘Diya’, who encourages children to read stories aloud and helps if child is unable to pronounce a word.
    6. ICICI Bank acquired 9.9% stake in non-banking finance company Kisan Finance for cash consideration of Rs 17.82 crores. Kisan Rural Finance Ltd was incorporated in December 2017.
    7. USA and South Korea will call off their joint exercise “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” and instead bifurcate them into smaller exercises, to ease tensions with North Korea. “Key Resolve” will be replaced by “Dongmaeng” which is also known as alliance in English, Foal Eagle drills will be replaced by a smaller battalion-sized exercise.
    8. IDBI Bank received government nod to handle import and export transactions with Iran, to help promoting trade amid US sanctions on Iran. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
    9. IIT Delhi researchers created India’s first Braille laptop for the visually- impaired, named Dot Book. It comprises 10-cell refreshable Braille Cell modules.
    10. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) began setting up solar-based electric vehicle chargers, on 250 KM stretch of Delhi-Chandigarh Highway, under FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles). Govt. aims to have electric charging stations at every 25 KM, by 2030.
    11. Assam Govt. launched scheme namely ‘Affordable Nutrition and Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojna’ to provide rice at rupee one per kg to 2 crore people of State. State government will make rice free for tea garden workers and also provide Re 1 per kg of rice for non-tea garden beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). At present, NFSA beneficiary pays Rs 3 for one kg rice.
    12. Chapchar Kut festival of Mizo people celebrated in Aizawl (Mizoram).
    13. Women officers can now get permanent commissions in 10 branches of Indian Army, while they were earlier inducted for short service commission (SSC). Permanent commission will be granted to women officers inducted in branches such as Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence.
    14. SBI and Hitachi Payment Services launched their merchant-acquiring joint venture, SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBIPSPL) in Mumbai for establishing a digital payments platform for India and other countries in region. SBI has 74 percent stake in JV.
    15. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) presented SWAGAT Automatic Fare Collection Gating System, an initiative of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with BEL and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).
    16. Swedish Academy announced that 2 Nobel prizes in literature will be awarded this year, to make up for lack of one in 2018, due to scandals that had Swedish Academy. Last year’s Nobel was withheld for the first time since 1949 after the Swedish Academy.
    17. Tripura government announced ‘Notun Disha’ (New Direction) for assessing and improving academic level of students in classes III-VIII. Training will be provided by NGOs and educational institutions to 800 teachers.
    18. Rice Knowledge Bank-Assam agriculture web portal launched under World Bank funded project – Agri-business and Rural Transformation (APART). It aims to magnify knowledge on rice production technologies and techniques, best production practices and state agriculture facts.
    19. Mar 4 is known as National Security Day In India.
  29. Mar 03, 2019
    1. Mar 3 - World Wildlife Day. 2019 Theme is Life below water: for people and planet. Mar 3 is also observed as World Hearing day.
    2. Malaysia became 124th member nation to International Criminal Court (ICC), ratifying Rome Statute after 20 years.
    3. RBI imposed penalties worth Rs 71 crore on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance with various directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT operations. Penalties, ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 4 crore, were imposed betwen Jan 31 and February 25, 2019.
      1. SWIFT stands (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), is a messaging network that financial institutions use to securely transmit information and instructions through a standardized system of codes.
    4. China increased its defence budget by 7.5 per to $177.61 billion up from last year’s $165 billion, approx thrice as that of India. China’s defence spending at $177.61 billion makes it 2nd highest defence spender, after USA.
      1. Chinese Govt also expressed concern over slowing economic growth and slashed its GDP target to 6 - 6.50 % this year.
    5. India nominated member of Niti Ayog, Ramesh Chandra to head Food and Agricultural Organisation. His candidature is challenged by Qu Dongyu of China, Medi Moungui of Cameroon, Catherine Geslain-Laneelle of France and Davit Kirvalidze of Georgia. To get elected, candidate needs to secure majority of 194 members. Only Indian to head FAO is Binay Ranjan Sen(1956 - 1967).
    6. World Air Quality Report 2018 compiled by Greenpeace and IQAir AirVisual, measuring presence of fine particulate matter PM2.5 in air -
      1. 7 of top 10 and 22 of top 3 most polluted cities in world are in India.
      2. 5 most polluted cities - Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi (India) and Faisalabad (Pakistan).
      3. Chinese Capital Beijing, which once was among most polluted cities in world, ranked 122nd.
    7. President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Justice SA Bobde as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), to replace AK Sikri who will retire on 6th.
    8. Government Appointed P V Ramesh as director-general of National Archives of India.
    9. Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019 -
      1. Indore named India’s cleanest city for third straight year, followed by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Mysore in Karnataka.
      2. Ahmedabad named cleanest big city (population over 10 lakh), while Ujjain cleanest medium city (population 3 - 10 lakh).
      3. Bhopal has been named cleanest capital.
      4. Chhattisgarh ranked top in category of best performing states, followed by Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
    10. P K Bezbaruah has been reappointed as Chairman of Tea Board for 2nd tenure. He is first non-IAS chairman of the Tea Board.
    11. Red Flag 19 Air Fiorce military drill held in USA, to test aerial combat readiness.
    12. Department of Commerce notified a scheme for Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products, to be included in Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20).
      1. Transport and Marketing Assistance for specified agriculture products scheme aims to provide assistance for the international component of transportation of agricultural produce to mitigate the disadvantage of higher cost of exporting agriculture products.
      2. It will promote brand recognition for Indian agricultural products in specified overseas markets.
      3. Assistance would be provided in cash through Direct Bank Transfer as part reimbursement of freight paid, with amount depending on export regions.
      4. Assistance will be provided only if payments for the exports are received in Free Foreign Exchange through normal banking channels.
  30. Mar 02, 2019
    1. Dubai Open Tennis Championships 2019 -
      1. Men's Singles - Roger Federer (Switzerland).
        1. Roger Federer won his 100th ATP title , defeatig Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) in Dubai Tennis Championship. Roger also has won 20 grand slam Titles. He is 2nd man after American Jimmy Connors to claim 100 titles.
      2. Women's Singles - Belinda Bencic (Switzerland)
      3. Men's Doubles - Rajeev Ram (USA) and Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom)
      4. Women's Doubles - Hsieh Su-wei (Chinese Taipei) anD Barbora Strýcová (Czech Republic)
    2. Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman named for first Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar constituted by Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti, with a cash prize of 2.51 lakh.
      1. Abhinandan was on a mission to defend Indian Borders amid recent standoff between India and Pakistan after recent Pulwama Terror Attack in which 40 CRPF Personnel were martyred.
      2. After this attack Indian Air Force carried out air strikes in Pakistan, destroying a major Jaish-E-Mohammad Terror camp in Balakot, killing over 300 Terrorists.
      3. As a response to this air strike, pakistan sent over 20 F-16 American Fighter Jets, which Intruded into India but were unable to do any harm due to swift reaction by Indian Defender Jets. Among these jets was a Mig-21, which carried Abhinandan Varthaman.
      4. Abhinanadan followed the Pakistani F-16s, downing one before getting down itself due to some damage.
      5. Abhinandan ejected and was flown to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where he was surrounded by pakistani Mob who harmed him physically. He was later captured by Pakistan Army.
      6. Pakistan claimed they had captured 2 Indian pilots, not knowing that the other pilot was their own who ejected from F-16 downed by Abhinandan. The pakistani pilot was beaten to death by pakistani Mob itself, who thought he was Indian. Realizing this, pakistan changed its statement that only one pilot was captured.
      7. As per Geneva convention, Pakistan was bound to return Abhinandan as he was on National Duty. The same happened, and abhinandan was returned to India within 60 Hours, a world record.
      8. Abhinandan's act of downing a high-end American F-16 by a old Mig-21 was praised globally. Pakistan on the other end dragged itself into trouble as F-16 jets were given to Pakistan by USA only for counter terrorism operations, and not to attack any other nation.
    3. The Fate Of Butterflies, New novel by Nayantara Sahgal has been reeased. It confronts toxic dangers of ‘war, religious polarisation and authoritarian charisma-a dystopian future that is already upon the world'.
    4. National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) signed an MoU, in which IICA will support NCGG for utilization of infrastructure facilities during training programme of NCGG at Delhi and for academic & intellectual interactions for 5 years.
    5. Shri Vishwakarma Skill University Haryana (SVSU) signed MoU with National Institute of Technical Teacher’s Training and Research Bhopal to ensure purposeful engagement of Faculty, Experts and Industry Partners for various academic activities.
    6. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports granted provisional recognition to Kudo International Federation India(KIFI) as National Sport Federation, for promotion of Kudo sport in India..
    7. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (Mar 2019) -
      1. India economy is expected to grow at 7.3 % in FY 2019 and 2020, according to US-based rating agency Moody’s.
      2. Fitch Ratings has cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8% from its previous estimate of 7%, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy. The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7% from 7.3% and 7.1% from 7.3%, respectively.
    8. G. Satheesh Reddy (Secretary of Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)) named as co-winner of 2019 Missile Systems Award by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIIA). He will share the prize with Rondell J. Wilson from Raytheon Missile Systems.
    9. India's Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) concluded Mainamati Maitree Joint Exercise 2019.
    10. RBI constituted a panel under former deputy governor Usha Thorat to examine issues related to offshore rupee markets and recommend policy measures to ensure the stability of external value of the domestic currency.
      1. Panel will study causes behind development of offshore rupee market and examine effects of the offshore markets on the rupee exchange rate and market liquidity in domestic market.
      2. Panel will recommend measures to generate incentives for non-residents to access domestic market and examine role if any, International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) can play in addressing these concerns.
    11. World Bank-ILO report Exports to Jobs: Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia -
      1. It studies effect on local employment and wages of changes in exports by combining disaggregated data from household-level or worker-level surveys with trade data from India and Sri Lanka.
      2. India’s growth rate of 7.2 per cent in 2017 reduced number of people living in poverty. Even then, most Indians doesn’t have regular jobs in formal economy and differences in wages across regions and in the quality of employment opportunities prevail.
      3. Indian exports which are mainly capital intensive like chemicals and fabricated metals reduces direct benefits to workers.
    12. India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia have signed New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019 declaration for conservation of species at 2nd Asian Rhino Range Countries Meet. It was decided that India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase population of three species of Asian Rhinos - Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhino, and Sumatran rhino.
    13. Geological Survey of India (GSI) launched 22 permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities, as part of 35 stations planned by GSI These stations are meant to delineate high strain zones for earthquake probability, determine a seismic motion on faults that may lead to a rupture and produce thematic maps with high accuracy.
    14. Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) decided to reintroduce Cricket in 2022 Asian Games to be held at Hangzhou (China). Cricket featured in 2010 and 2014 Asian Games but was dropped from 2018 Asian Games. India did not participate in 2010 & 2014 editions.
      1. OCA also agreed to invite Oceania countries including Australia to compete at 2022 Asian Games.
    15., launched in 2018 has emerged as country’s largest online lending platform, with loan sanctions over 35000 crores.
      1. It provides credit up to Rs 1 crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in just under 59 minutes, reducing turnaround time from 20-25 days.
      2. 62 lakh MSME units have been given in-principle approvals, while 1.12 lakh have got a final nod, since the launch.
    16. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) created new Guinness World Record for longest single moving line bicycle parade at Yamuna Expressway (Greater Noida). CIRF personnel rode 1,327 bicycles non-stop with a uniform distance between bicycles in a single line, covering 3.2 km non-stop.
    17. Central Government banned socio-political and religious organisation Jamaat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir) for 5 years due to ‘close touch’ with militants.
    18. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched its own payment aggregator system, IRCTC iPay. It will enhance speed of transactions and easy and faster refunds.
    19. Govt. approved “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana” under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to provide financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
      1. It aims to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support it by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research & Development.
      2. 12 Commercial Scale and 10 demonstration scale Second Generation (2G) ethanol Projects will be provided with a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support in two phases - Phase-I (2018-19 to 2022-23) and Phase-II (2020-21 to 2023-24).
      3. It aims to reduce import dependence by substituting fossil fuels with Biofuels and Addressing environmental concerns caused by burning biomass/ crop residues.
    20. Karnataka government launched water conservation scheme named Jalamrutha, with focus on drought-proofing measures, including protection and rejuvenation of water bodies.
      1. Under it, scientific approaches will be deployed for water budgeting, water harvesting and water conservation.
      2. Water conservation strategy under this scheme comprises of four components viz. water literacy, rejuvenation of waterbodies, creation of new waterbodies as well as the development of watersheds and afforestation activities.
  31. Mar 01, 2019
    1. For the first time, India attended Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meet, held in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj attended 46th Session of OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers.
      1. Host UAE stated that India has been named as guest of honour in view of its great global political stature.
      2. Invitation is significant as it hs come at a time when India is cornering Pakistan on all international forums due to its alleged role in terror activities. Pakistan is a founding member of OIC and Pakistan has been blocking all efforts of India to engage with OIC. This invitation is seen as a signal of changing geopolitical dynamics.
    2. PM Narendra Modi launched One Nation, One Card for transport mobility, in Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
      1. Indigenous Automatic Fare Collection System based on One Nation One Card Model i.e. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) is first of its kind in India.
      2. India’s First Indigenously Developed Payment Eco-system for transport consisting of NCMC Card, SWEEKAR (Swachalit Kiraya: Automatic Fare Collection System) and SWAGAT (Swachalit Gate) is based on NCMC Standards.
      3. Customer may use single card for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail.
    3. Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) on Indo- Bangladesh border in Dhubri district of Assam.
      1. Two pilot projects covering about 71 Kms on Indo-Pakistan Border (10 Kms) and Indo-Bangladesh Border (61 Kms) of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) have been completed. 
      2. Stage-II and Stage-III covering about 1955 Kms of border which cannot be physically fenced, will be taken up now.  CIBMS project will vastly improve capability of BSF in controlling cross border crimes.
      3. CIBMS involves deployment of several high end surveillance technologies - thermal imagers, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms, aerostats for aerial surveillance, unattended ground sensors that can help detect intrusions.
      4. Rollout plan for CIBMS -
        1. Stage-I - Pilot projects in Jammu and Assam has been completed. Stage 1 will be reviewed through an independent third party auditor (IIT Delhi). 
        2. Stage-II - Rollout of 153 Kms in 4 patches along Indo-Pakistan & Indo-Bangladesh Border
        3. Stage-III - Rollout of 1802 Kms in 67 patches along Indo-Pakistan & Indo-Bangladesh border.
    4. ISRO launched a special programme for School Children called Young Scientist Programme, aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
      1. Residential training programme will be of around 2 weeks duration during summer holidays and it is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ UT to participate every year. Those finishing 8th and studying in 9th standard will be eligible for programme.
    5. PM Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation, the Joint Venture of Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd, for Kalashnikov Assault Rifle Production, in Kauhar, Amethi (Uttar Pradesh).
      1. New joint venture will manufacture world famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series and eventually will reach full localization of production.
      2. Plant will produce 7.5 lakh 7.62x39 mm caliber AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles.
    6. USA decided to terminate trade benefits for India and Turkey under Generalized System of Preference (GSP) eligibility criteria, giving a 60-day withdrawal notice to India. GSP benefits amount to annual duty reduction of 190 million USD.
      1. GSP benefits are non-discriminatory benefits extended by developed countries to developing countries.
      2. India was largest beneficiary of the GSP programme in 2017 with $5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status.
      3. USA had initiated review on basis of representations by US medical devices and dairy industries, but included numerous other issues on a self-initiated basis.
      4. President Trump accused India of failing to ensure US of “equitable and reasonable” access to its markets. US is pressing India to reduce US trade deficits and repeatedly called out India for high tariffs. India sought talks with US to avoid the withdrawal of the trade benefits under GSP.
    7. Book Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio, has been released. It has been compiled by BlueKraft Digital Foundation. It is based on 50 episodes of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s heart to heart talk with citizens of India, broadcasted on All India Radio.
    8. A.K. Mohanty appointed as Director in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
    9. Delhi topped list of most polluted cities in world, in a study by environment NGO Greenpeace India.
    10. Macky Sall re-elected as President of Senegal (West Africa).
    11. Bhagwan Lal Sahni appointed as Chairman of National Commission for Backward Classes.
    12. Former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble has been reappointed as Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee for 3rd consecutive term.
    13. USA officially closed its consulate in Jerusalem, downgrading status of its main diplomatic mission to Palestinians by folding it into U.S. Embassy to Israel.
    14. India's GDP growth slipped to 6.6 % in 3rd quarter of FY19, after strong growth of 7.1% in 2nd quarter and 8.2% in 1st quarter of FY 2018-19. India would still be growing faster than China’s 6.4 percent growth in the same quarter. Q1 Growth rate has been revised to 8% from 8.2% earlier and Q2 has been revised to 7% from 7.12% earlier.
      1. Central Statistics Office stated that Indian economy will grow at 7.2 % in 2018-19, higher from 6.7 per cent in 2017-18. Real GVA (Gross Value Added) is expected to grow at 7 per cent in the current fiscal as against 6.5 per cent in 2017-18.
    15. Mar 1 - Zero Discrimination Day. Mar 1 is also observed as Civil Accounts Day in India and civil defence day globally.