Current Affairs
Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 12th April 2020

National

Delhi Government Launches “Operation SHIELD” for Containment of COVID-19

• On 9 April 2020, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced the launch of an initiative called “Operation SHIELD” in the capital city to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

• Here SHIELD stands for:

a) Sealing of the immediate area/surroundings after geographical marking

b) Home quarantine of all the people living in the area

c) Isolation and tracing of people who have been first and second contacts

d) Essential supply of commodities is ensured

e) Local sanitisation of the area by authorities

f) Door-to-door health checks of everyone living in the area

CSIR-NCL & BEL ink partnership to developed IR Thermometer and OEU

• CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, Maharashtra has designed and developed Digital IR Thermometer and Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU) to assist within the mitigation of the Coronavirus outbreak. To speed-up, the project NCL has partnered with Bharat Electronics Ltd, Pune (BEL).

• Digital Infra-Red (IR) thermometer is that the primary and important component that’s wont to measure Coronavirus infection.

• The Oxygen Enrichment Unit is that the other technology that’s in great demand within the treatment of COVID-19 patients. because the lungs of COVID-19 patients get badly affected, the OEU can do the function of a ventilator by increasing the oxygen concentration from 21-22% to 38-40% from the ambient air.

Bharat Biotech in tie-up with FluGen to develop ‘CoroFlu’ vaccine

• Bharat Biotech in tie-up with the US-based company FluGen and University of Wisconsin Madison to develop a vaccine named “Coro-Flu” to fight against COVID-19.

• CoroFlu will build on the backbone of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR.

• The vaccine is being developed on the basis of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR, a self-limited version of the influenza virus.

International

People’s Bank of China now owns 1.01% stake in HDFC
•    The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which is the Central Bank of China now owns 1.01% stake in the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC).
•    As per the data submitted by PBOC to BSE, it held 1.75 crore shares of HDFC during the quarter that ended in March 2020. However, PBOC already owned 0.8 percent earlier.
•    As per norms, businesses are required to disclose shareholding of over 1 percent at the end of every quarter. The disclosure has been made now by PBOC because the ownership has hit the 1 percent regulatory threshold.

Banking and Economy

Jana Small Finance Bank launches “DigiGen” digital banking platform

• Jana Small Finance Bank has launched “DigiGen” a digital banking platform where customers can digitally open a savings account and fixed deposit instantly, any time, anywhere.

• DigiGen onboarding is a three-step process to open an account.

• Bank customers are eligible for 4.5 per cent interest rates on savings account with no minimum balance and up to 7.5 per cent interest on fixed deposits.

ACC approves extension of Bank Board Bureau members’ tenure by 2 years

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the extension of tenure of all members and the current part-time chairman of the Bank Board Bureau(BBB) by 2 years, which is coming to an end on April 11,2020.

• The former Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training, Bhanu Pratap Sharma, will continue to hold the post of part-time member of the board.

Ranking

India ranks high on “Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker”.

• The “Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker” has identified India’s response to Covid-19 as one of the most stringent in the world. This data are based on tracking 73 countries.

• This tracker is created by researchers from Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The tracker is designed to systematically record government responses worldwide and aggregate the scores into a common ‘Stringency Index’.

Days

International Day of Human Space Flight 2020: History of Human in Space, Background and Other Details

• International Day of Human Space Flight 2020: The International Day of Human Space Flight 2020 was observed on April 12, 2020. The day is to celebrate the beginning of the space era for mankind, the contribution of space science and technology and to ensure the realization to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.

• The United Nations General Assembly in its resolution on April 7, 2011, had declared April 12 to be celebrated as International Day of Human Space Flight.

• On April 12, 1961, the first human space flight was carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, who became the first person to journey into outer space. The mission opened several pathways for space exploration, which benefited the next generations.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 11th April 2020

National

HRD Minister launches Bharat Padhe Online campaign

• The Ministry of Human Resources Development on April 10, 2020 launched a week-long Bharat Padhe Online campaign to crowdsource ideas for improving the online education ecosystem of India. The HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched the campaign.

• The campaign aims to invite the best suggestions and solutions to overcome the constraints of online education while promoting the available digital education platforms.

• The HRD Minister requested the educators across the country to come forward and contribute with their expertise in the field of education.

International

Google to launch new virtual Braille Keyboard

• Google has announced the launch of a virtual Braille keyboard for Android users with low vision or blindness. This new keyboard will enable these people to type on their phones without additional hardware.

• A standard 6-key layout has been used in this keyboard with each key representing one of 6 braille dots which, when tapped, can make any letter or symbol.

Banking and Economy

Goldman Sachs cuts real GDP growth forecast for India in FY21 to 1.6%

• Goldman Sachs has predicted India’s Real GDP growth projection for FY21 at 1.6%.

• Goldman Sachs has predicted the Global GDP growth at -1.8% in 2020.

RBI launches twitter campaign for Digital Payment

• The Reserve Bank of India on April 09, 2020 launched a twitter campaign urging bank customers to adopt digital modes of payment that are convenient and safe.

• The face of the campaign is Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

• The RBI, through the campaign, reiterated the multiple digital payment options such as NEFT, IMPS, UPI and BBPS that are available 24*7.

Obituary

Padma Shri classical singer Shanti Hiranand passes away at 87

• Renowned Hindustani classical singer Shanti Hiranand Chawla passed away at the age of 87 years.

• She was a Padma Shri awardee and trained in thumri, dadra and ghazal singing.

• She had also penned a book titled “Begum Akhtar: The Story of My Ammi.” which depicts her journey with her music guru, Begum Akhtar.

Ranking

FIFA’s ranking: India at 108th

• India football team retained its 108th spot in the latest FIFA rankings. While Belgium ranked first and world champion France is in 2nd place and Brazil is at 3rd spot.

Days

National Safe Motherhood Day

• The day aims to raise awareness about the proper healthcare of women and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women.

• The day also aims to spread awareness about healthcare facilities for women. India became the first country to officially declare a National Safe Motherhood Day in the world.

National Pet Day

• National Pet Day is celebrated on 11 April every year.The day encourages people to help reduce the number of animals in shelters.On this day, the pet owners celebrate their animal companion.

• A survey by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that the animals contribute to the physical and mental benefits to overall cardiovascular health by lowering cortisol, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 9th April 2020

National

TRIFED to launch campaign in partnership with UNICEF for SHGs

• Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has collaborated with UNICEF for developing a digital communication strategy for promoting a digital campaign for Self Help Groups (SHGs).

Airtel Payments Bank Rolls health insurance plan in Partnership with Bharati AXA General Insurance

• Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Bharati AXA General Insurance to launch a health insurance policy.

• Under the partnership, they have rolled out two different health insurance plans which includes:

• Bharti AXA Group Health Assure Policy

• Group Hospital Cash Policy

Summits and Mou’s

L&T signs agreement with Indian Army for advanced IT-enabled network
•  Larsen & Toubro(L&T) signs agreement with the Indian Army for setting up an advanced IT-enabled system to operate the Armed Forces network under the Network of Spectrum (NFS).
 

Banking and Economy

SIDBI to provide emergency working capital to MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will facilitate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with emergency working capital of up to Rs 1 crore against their confirmed government orders.

• Under its flagship scheme called SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (Smile), SEBI has opened an additional financial window for the healthcare sector.

Sports

Englands Ben Stokes named 2020 Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World

• England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the leading cricketer in the world by Wisden for the year 2019. He is the first player from England since 2005 to be named for this award.

• In Women’s category, Australia’s Ellyse Perry has been named the Wisden’s Leading Female Cricketer in the World.

Ranking

Jeff Bezos tops Forbes billionaires list “The Richest in 2020”

• Forbes has launched the 34th annual world’s billionaires list named as “The Richest in 2020”. The list titled “The Richest in 2020” has been topped by the Amazon Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

• This was 3rd time in a row that he has topped the annual world’s billionaires list released by Forbes. He has topped the list with a net worth of $113 billion.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 25th March 2020

National

Cabinet approved the continuation of RoSCTL scheme from 1 April

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved for continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme from 1 April 2020.

• Until then, the scheme will be merged with the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP). It is expected to make the textile sector competitive by rebating all taxes and levies that are currently not being rebated under any other mechanism.

Delhi Government Announces Rs 100-cr “Branding Delhi” scheme to make Delhi tourism brand

• The Delhi government has announced a new scheme titled “Branding Delhi”, to introduce the national capital as a tourism brand to domestic and foreign tourists and create news jobs in the sector.

• The Rs 100-crore scheme will re-brand Delhi tourism and the city will be introduced as a tourism brand in the country and abroad to domestic and foreign tourists.

Deadline for GST returns extended to 30 June

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has extended the last date for filing GST returns for March, April, and May to 30 June.

• The previous date for filing of GST returns was March 31, 2020.

• The deadline for composition returns on GST has been also been extended to 30 June 2020.

International

US & UAE troops launch biennial exercise “Native Fury”

• US Marines and UAE Emirati forces conducted the biennial exercise, named Native Fury at Abu Dhabi. The biennial exercise, called Native Fury, shows the close ties between American forces and the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula home to Abu Dhabi.

• The forces seize a sprawling model Middle Eastern city, a drill conducted amid tensions with Iran and despite the new coronavirus pandemic.

• It also comes after the U.S. killed Iran’s most prominent general in a drone strike in January, and Tehran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack on American forces in Iraq.

Karur Vysya Bank Launches Pre-paid Card ‘Enkasu’ in Karur District

• In line with the digital initiative of the Government of India, Karur Vysya Bank has launched a pre-paid card named ‘Enkasu’ in Karur, to reduce the usage of cash in the district.

• The bank has launched the Enkasu card under its Quit Cash Movement, to do away with the need for cash and it will be beneficial to both merchants and customers alike.

• Enkasu works on Near Field Communication Technology in a semi closed loop.

Appointments and Resignations

Sameer Aggarwal appointed as CEO of Walmart India

• Sameer Aggarwal has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walmart India. He will taker over as CEO from Krish Iyer with effect from 1st April 2020.

• After assuming the charge as CEO of Walmart India, he will focus on building more digital, and omni-channel services at the retailer.

Days

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

• The United Nations’ (UN) observes the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25 March every year.

• The day aims to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system and also raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

• 2020 Theme: “Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together”

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 23rd March 2020

National

Satyarup Siddhanta becomes first Indian to complete volcanic Seven Summit

• India's mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta has recently climbed the highest volcano in seven continents and recorded his name in the 'Limca Book of Records'.

• He holds the record for becoming the first Indian to climb the highest volcano in all the 7 continents of the world. Earlier, in January 2019, he achieved the record of climbing the highest peak of the seven continents of the world.

• He already has registered his name in Guinness Book of World Records, India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, British Book of Records and Champion Book of Records.

IOC Becomes First Company to Begin Supply of BS-VI fuel Across Country

• Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the biggest oil firm of India, has successfully rolled out the supply of the BS-VI grade fuel, with all its 28,000 petrol pumps dispensing ultra-low sulphur fuel across the country.

• With this, the company is first in the Country to completely switch to world’s cleanest petrol and diesel, two weeks before the April 1 deadline.

• The government had set April 1, 2020 as the deadline for starting supply of ultra-low sulphur BS-VI (equivalent to Euro-VI grade emission compliant fuels) petrol and diesel.

• BS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG.

Banking and Economy

RBI to conduct variable rate Repo auctions for Rs 1,00,000 crores

• As per the circular, the Reserve Bank of India will conduct fine-tuning variable rate Repo auctions for Rs 1,00,000 crores in two tranches.

• The central bank has also decided to allow standalone Primary Dealers to participate in fine-tuning variable rate Repo auctions along with other eligible participants.

Days

Shaheed Diwas 2020 observed in India to commemorate Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru

• India observed the Shaheed Diwas 2020 (Martyr's Day) on March 23, 2020 to commemorate the sacrifices made by freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru during the Indian Freedom Struggle.

•  On March 23, 1931, all these three freedom fighters were hanged till death for their involvement in the case 'Lahore Conspiracy'.

World Meteorological Day

• The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the date of the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 23 March 1950

• The day also highlights the contribution that the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.

• The theme for 2020 World Meteorological Day is ‘Climate and Water’.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 22nd March 2020

IRDAI Constitutes Panel Under Pravin Kutumbe to Review Guidelines on Corporate Governance Systems of Insurers

• The insurance regulator, Insurance Regulation and Development Authority (IRDAI), has set up a 16-member committee to find ways to improve its current guidelines on corporate governance systems of insurers, in a bid to further strengthen the guidelines.

• The committee will be Chaired by Shri Pravin Kutumbe, member-finance and investment at IRDAI.

• It will also consists of six other members from the insurance regulator, members from the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India along with other industry participants.

International

Ranking

UN releases World Happiness Report 2020

• The United Nations (UN) has released the eighth edition of the annual World Happiness Report on 20 March 2020 to rank 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.

• India has been ranked at 144 position among 156 nations with a score of 3.573 points on a scale of 10.

• Finland has been named as the happiest country in the world for the third year in a row while Afghanistan is the lowest ranking country.

• The World Happiness Report is an annual survey by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.

• The Report takes into account six factors to rank a country which includes: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income.

Days

World Water Day

• World Water Day observed globally on 22nd March every year. World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, focuses on the importance of freshwater. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. This year, World Water Day 2020 theme: “Water and Climate Change”.

• It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

 Books and Authors

Book titled ‘Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great Expectations’ Penned by Tavleen Singh

• Tavleen Singh, one of India’s most influential columnists and political reporter and writer has come out with her new work titled “Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great Expectations”.

• The book tells about her early support for Modi the candidate, followed by a helpless disenchantment with Modi the PM and the cabinet he headed.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 21st March 2020

National

Government Approves Setting Up of National Technical Textile Mission for 4 Years

• The government has approved the proposal for creation of National Technical Textiles Mission for a period of 4 years from 2020-21 to 2023-24.

• The total outlay of the mission has been estimated at Rs.1480 crores.

•  The focus of the Mission for holistic development of entire technical textile sector on pan-India basis in various flagship missions and programmes of the country.

Railway Ministry to Electrify all 28,810 km Broad Gauge (BG) Routes by December 2023

• Piyush Goyal-led Ministry of Railways has planned to electrify all the remaining 28,810 km of Broad Gauge (BG) Routes of Indian Railways by December 2023.

• The proposed electrification of BG Routes will be done in the following manner:

• 2019-20 – 6,000 km of broad gauge route has been planned to be electrified in 2020-21 – 6,000 km,in 2021-22 – 6,000 km, in 2022-23 – 6,500 km and in 2023-24 (upto Dec-23) – 4,310 km.

• Apart from this, the Railway Ministry has also planned to source around 1000 megawatt (MW) of solar power as part of its solar mission and around 200 MWt of wind power based on the techno-commercial assessment.

Banking and Economy

RBI to infuse Rs 30,000 crore to boost liquidity

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will infuse liquidity of Rs 30,000 crore to maintain financial stability in the Indian economy.

• RBI has took this decision to boost liquidity in order to ensure that all markets segments function normally with adequate liquidity and turnover, as certain financial market segments are facing stress due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Summits and Mou’s

APEDA signs MoU with SFAC for development of agriculture sector

• Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has signed an Memorandum of Understanding.

• The MoU aims for the development of agriculture and allied sectors as well as its exports for bringing better value to the stakeholders.

•  The two organizations are also working towards linking of Farmer Producer organizations, farmers’ cooperatives to the export value chain

Days

International Day of Forests

• International Day of Forests is celebrated every year on 21 March. The day is being celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees.

• These activities includes tree planting campaigns. Every year, a theme is decided by the by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for International Day of Forests 2020: Forests and Biodiversity.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

• The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed globally on 21 March every year. The day is celebrated annually on 21 March as on this day in 1960, the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws”.

•  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2020 is focused on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

World Down Syndrome Day

• World Down Syndrome Day is observed every year on 21 March. In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.

• Down syndrome occurs in an individual when he/she has an extra partial (or whole) copy of chromosome 21. The theme of World Down Syndrome Day 2020 is “We Decide”.

World Poetry Day

• World Poetry Day is observed globally on 21 March every year. World Poetry Day is being observed annually to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

•  It also aims to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to encourage the teaching of poetry as well as to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting.

Obituary

• Legendary Indian Footballer PK Banerjee Passes Away at 83.India’s Football legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee has passed away after battling prolonged illness. He was 83.

• He won the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 1992.Banerjee has scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.

• He was the recipients of some of the most prestigious awards including Arjuna Award in 1961, Padma Shri in 1990 and FIFA Order of Merit in 2004.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 15th March 2020

National

India’s 1st digital parcel locker service launched in West Bengal

• The Department of Posts, Kolkata (West Bengal circle), has launched free digital parcel locker service in 2 post offices Nabadiganta IT post office of Salt Lake City & post office in New Town’s Action Area.

• Under this service, customers will be able to collect their parcel from the post office according to their convenience.

• This facility is quite popular in European countries but is starting for the first time in India. This service has been done for such people of working-class, who do not have to receive any parcel at home. Such people can take their parcel and letters addressed to them from the kiosks at 24×7.

UP govt launches three schemes for skill development in the state

Uttar Pradesh government has launched three ambitious schemes for skill development and employment generation for youths in the state. The three schemes are Kaushal Satrang, Yuva Hub and apprenticeship scheme in Lucknow. UP government also announced to depute ”Arogya Mitras” at all primary health centres to inform people about govt health schemes.

Kaushal Satrang Scheme

• Kaushal Satrang scheme is a skill development scheme with 7 components to help provide job opportunities to the youth.Under this scheme, each district will organize Mega job fair.

Yuva Hub’ Scheme

Yuva Hub’ scheme was allocated Rs 1,200 crore in the state budget and it aims at providing employment to thousands of skilled youth by assisting in project concept and financial help for one year of operation. It will also facilitate setting up of 30,000 startups in the state. IIM (Indian Institutes of Management) Lucknow is the knowledge partner of this scheme.

CM apprenticeship scheme

CM apprenticeship scheme will provide a stipend of Rs 2500 to the youth of the state.

Banking and Economy

Lava launches World’s first ‘no internet’ payment service in India

• Smartphone manufacturer Lava, has launched a payment app named Lava Pay which doesn’t requires an active internet connection for fund transfer.

• Lava claims it to be the world’s first’no internet’ payment service. The app will help boost Digital India initiative of the Government as well as bringing financial inclusivity for a large population of the county.

Govt appoints new board of directors for Yes Bank

• The government of India has notified the reconstruction scheme for Yes Bank which has been placed under moratorium by Reserve Bank of India. The moratorium will be lifted on March 18.

• Under the scheme, Prashant Kumar has been appointed as MD and CEO of Yes Bank. He is a former chief financial officer at State Bank of India.Sunil Mehta has been appointed as the non-executive chairman of Yes Bank. He is the former non-executive chairman of state-owned Punjab National Bank.Mahesh Krishnamurthy and Atul Bheda will be the non-executive directors.

• Under the reconstruction scheme, SBI, will hold up to 49 per cent in Yes Bank. SBI has approved an investment of Rs 7,250 crore (725 crore shares at Rs 10 each).Apart from this, 4 private banks will also chip in money in Yes Bank. These are- HDFC- Rs 1,000 Crore; ICICI Bank- Rs 1,000 Crore; Axis Bank- Rs 600 Crore; Kotak Mahindra Bank- Rs 500 Crore.

RBI reduces Limits on exposure to group of borrowers for UCB to 25%

• The Reserve Bank of India has reduced the prudential exposure limits for Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) for group of connected borrowers/parties from 40% to 25%.

• Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) were permitted to have exposures up to 15 per cent and 40 per cent of their capital funds to a single borrower and a group of borrowers, respectively.

Days

World Consumer Rights Day

• World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally on March 15 every year. It is a day marked to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs.

• Celebrating World Consumer Rights Day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

• Consumer rights broadly mean that each consumer has the right to have information about the quality, potency, quantity, purity, price and standard of goods or services.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 9th March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

Sanitary pad disposal bags to be made mandatory from Jan 2021:

• The Government has made it mandatory for the sanitary napkin makers to supply biodegradable bags with the pads from January 2021.

• This is due to the possible risk of infection due to the handling of the used sanitary napkins thrown in the garbage.

Government proposes to create 75 lakh Self Help Groups by 2022:

• The Union Government has proposed to create a total of 75 lakh Self Help Groups by 2022 to enable more women to get a livelihood.

• This was announced by the Rural Development Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar while addressing a programme on Women's Empowerment to mark International Women's Day in New Delhi on March 8, 2020.

• The Minister said that the women’s Self Help Groups are the backbone of poverty alleviation programmes. There are over 60 lakh SHGs across the country, mobilizing more than 6 crore 73 lakh women.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

India Gets Observer Status in Indian Ocean Commission:

• India has been admitted to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) as an observer state on 6th March, 2020.

• This makes India, the fifth nation to receive Observer status in IOC.

• The other four observers are China, Malta, European Union and International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).

• The COI is composed of five African Indian Ocean nations namely-   Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Chandrayaan-3 to be launched in the first half of 2021: Jitendra Singh:

• Chandrayaan-3’s tentative launch schedule is expected to be in the first half of 2021. This was revealed by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in a written response to a question in Lok Sabha. This means that there could be a slight delay in the launch of the third moon mission.

• The Minister said that the Chandrayaan–III mission has been configured based on the lessons learnt from Chadrayaan – II. The revised configuration is expected to take care of the robustness in design and capacity enhancement for mission flexibility.

• Chandrayaan-II lander –Vikram had hard-landed on the lunar surface in September 2019. The Indian Space Research Organisation had then taken a resolve to launch the project again.

OBITUARY

Former Union Minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj Passes Away:

• Former Union Law Minister and Congress veteran Hans Raj Bhardwaj died after a cardiac arrest. Hans Raj Bhardwaj was 83. Hans Raj Bhardwaj was born in Garhi Sampla village in Rohtak district of Haryana.

• He was a Rajya Sabha member for five terms from April 1982 to June 2009.

APPOINTMENT AND RESIGNATION

Daren Tang of Singapore elected as Director General of WIPO:

• The Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has nominated Mr. Daren Tang from Singapore for the post of Director General.

• The WIPO General Assembly will meet in an extraordinary session on May 7-8, 2020, to confirm the Coordination Committee’s nomination.

• The term of the current Director General, Mr. Francis Gurry will end on September 30, 2020.

• WIPO Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

RANKING

BRAC tops 500 Global NGOs List for 5th Straight Year:

• The Bangladesh based international development organization, BRAC, has topped the list of top 500 Global Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for the 5th consecutive year.

• The list of the top 500 global NGOs of year 2020 was released by Geneva-based organization NGO Adviser.

• The rankings of the top 500 global NGOs is released every year by NGO Adviser based on various aspects such as the impact, innovation, governance and sustainability of the NGO.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 16th February 2020

National

Arvind Kejriwal takes oath as CM of Delhi for third time

• Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday took oath as the chief minister of Delhi, for the third time, at the Ramlila Maidan.

• The Aam Aadmi Party registered a massive majority in the recently concluded Delhi Assembly election with 62 seats in its kitty.

• Arvind Kejriwal was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

• Manish Sisodia, who was the deputy chief minister of Delhi in AAP government's previous term, also took oath as minister in Arvind Kejriwal's cabinet.

PM Modi Inaugurates ‘Kashi Ek Roop Anek’ Event at Varanasi

•rime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited his Lok Sabha Constituency Varanasi on 16 February 2020 to attend various events and inaugurate several programmes.

•Inaugurated a cultural arts and handicrafts exhibition named ‘Kashi Ek Roop Anek’ organized at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Trade Facilitation Center, at Varanasi.

•Unveiled the 63 feet Statue of Deendayal Upadhyay (largest statue of the leader in the country) and dedicated to the nation the Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial in Varanasi.

•Flagged off the third corporate train ‘Kashi Mahakal Express’ which links 3 Jyotirling Pilgrim Centres – Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar.

International

World Defence Spending Rose by 4% in 2019, Highest in 10 Years: IISS Report

• The global Defense spending rose by 4% in 2019 compared to the previous year, as per a new report titled “Military Balance” published by the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

• As per the international think tank, this global rise is the highest annual increase in 10 years.

Banking and Economy

SEBI Constitutes Municipal Bonds Development Committee

• Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted a municipal bonds development committee

• The committee will be headed by the Executive Director of SEBI, Mr Sujit Prasad and comprise of representatives from municipal corporations, lawyers, professionals and market practitioners.

15th Finance Commission Constitute Panel on Defence and Internal Security Funding

• The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a 5-member group on Defence and Internal Security.

• The panel will be headed by the Chairman of the commission, Shri N.K. Singh. Home Secretary, Defence Secretary, Finance Secretary and a member of Commission will be the other members of the group.

Sports

India clinches 3 medals in 2020 World SnowShoe Championship

• Three Indian athletes from Kashmir, have won medals in their respective categories at the 2020 World SnowShoe Championship held at Myoko, Japan from 15 to 16 February 2020.

• Participants from 17 countries of different continents participated in the championship.

• It is first time ever in the history of SnowShoe sport that Indian athletes bagged medals in the World Championship.Indian contingent included nine members, of which three athletes bagged one silver and two bronze medals.

Days

9th World Pangolin day 2020

• World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of February every year.

• In 2020, the world is celebrating the 9th edition of the annual World Pangolin Day. It was celebrated on 15 February 2020

Read More
Read Less