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Important Current Affairs 18th March 2020

National

Microsoft, NASSCOM launches Innovate for Accessible India campaign

• Microsoft India and NASSCOM Foundation have launched the Innovate for Accessible India campaign to empower people with disabilities.

• The campaign aims at empowering people with disabilities with the technology and tools required for better integration into society and access to equal opportunities.

• The campaign is in partnership with Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Science and Technology, and National Research and Education Network.

International

World Bank Group Increases COVID-19 Response Fund to $14 Billion from $12 Billion

• The World Bank Group has announced an additional funding of $2 billion to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing its commitment to $14 billion.

• The $2 billion in additional funds will come from International Finance Corporation (IFC), from its earlier contribution of $6 billion.

• The $14 billion funding announced will be made available from three branches of the World Bank Group:

o $2.7 billion – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

o $3.3 billion – International Development Association (IDA)

o $8 billion- The International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Iraq's President nominates Adnan Zurfi as Prime Minister

• Iraq's President Barham Salih named Adnan Zurfi, former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf, the new prime minister of the country. It is a second attempt to find the head of government in recent months.

• He will replace outgoing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Mahdi resigned from his post in December after huge protests against his government.

Banking and Economy

Flipkart Joins Hand with Aegon to sell digital life insurance policies

• E-commerce major Flipkart has partnered with Aegon Life Insurance to sell paperless life insurance policies on its platform.

• The product aims to make life insurance available to customers at the click of a button in a convenient and transparent manner, without the requirement of medical tests or paperwork.

• All the existing Flipkart customers, aged between 18 and 65 years, can buy an instant digital policy with a sum assured of upto 10 lakh from March 2020.

Moody predicts India’s GDP growth at 5.3% for 2020, 5.8% in 2021

• Moody’s Investors Service has predicted India’s GDP growth rate for Calendar Year 2020 at 5.3% and for Calendar Year 2021 at 5.8%.

• Moody has downgraded the GDP estimates for 2020 on account of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Science and Technology

NavIC messaging system designed by ISRO

• Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi recently shared that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed the NavIC messaging system to put out warning messages to Indian fishermen about cyclones, tsunamis and high waves.

• The ISRO has also developed NavIC receiver.

IHBT scientists develop a new sanitizer

• A team of scientists from the Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (IHBT) in collaboration with the CSIR has developed a new hand-sanitizer to protect people from Coronavirus.

• The use of hand-sanitizers is one of the preventive measures against the Covid-19.IHBT is located in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.

Days

Ordnance Factories’ Day in India

• Every year, 18 March is celebrated as the Ordnance Factory Day in India. OFB is the world's largest government-operated production organisation, and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India.

• It has a total workforce of about 80,000.

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Important Current Affairs 8th March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

2nd anniversary of Poshan Abhiyaan ‘Poshan Pakhwada’ being celebrated:

• The second anniversary of the Poshan Abhiyaan  Poshan Pakhwada is being celebrated on 8th

• The focus area of the two-week-long Poshan Pakhwada 2020 will be – Men for Nutrition – increasing male engagement in Poshan Abhiyaan – to improve Nutritional Indicators.

Paytm & Hyderabad Metro tie up for QR-based tickets:

• Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd in partnership with Paytm has launched a QR-code-based metro ticketing system at Rasoolpura metro station Hyderabad, Telangana.

• The new service will enable commuters to travel seamlessly and avoid queues to buy tokens at the metro stations. They can now simply purchase a QR ticket on their Paytm app, which can be displayed at the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates to proceed for the journey.

Third all-Women Post Office opens in New Delhi:

• Department of Posts, Delhi Circle has opened the third all-Women Post Office in the national capital.

• The post office was inaugurated under New Delhi South West Division to commemorate the International Women’s Day celebrations.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Times of India Sports Awards 2019 announced:

• The 4th edition of TOISA (Times of India Sports Awards) awards honoured the best Indian in 2019 sports in New Delhi, India. The event was powered by BHIM-UPI (Bharat Interface for Money- Unified Payments Interface).

• Rohit Sharma was named as the Cricketer of the year and PV Sindhu was named as the Sportsperson of the year as she won gold at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

SPORTS

Australia wins Women’s T20 World Cup title:

• Defending champions Australia wins Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. Australia bowled India out for 99 runs to clinch the final by 85 runs for a record-extending fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia.

• Beth Mooney has been adjudged Player of the Tournament & Alyssa Healy has been adjudged the Player of the Match.

• The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 was the seventh edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup tournament.

RANKING

Tamil Nadu tops in Poshan Abhiyan’s participants list:

• The Central Government is implementing the flagship programme Poshan Abhiyan for improving the nutritional status of Indian citizens. This programme helps children, adolescents, pregnant women, and lactating mothers by leveraging technology.

• The importance of being given to the programme is evident from the fact that as many as 14 Central Departments and all the State Governments are being involved in the programme. Tamil Nadu tops the list of the states in terms of the number of participants in the programme. The Integrated Child Development Scheme has been in force for long in the southern state that has got rejuvenated with the Centre’s Poshan Abhiyaan mission.

• The programme is revitalizing India by reaching out to the children and mothers across the nation.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Women’s Day:

• This day is observed globally every year on 8 March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

• It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

• The theme for IWD 2020 is each for Equal, recognising all of the actions we can take as individuals to challenge stereotypes, fight prejudice and celebrate women’s the year 2020 is an important one for gender equality.

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Important Current Affairs 17th February 2020

National

CDS Gen Bipin Rawat announces to create Peninsula Command

• Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat said on February 17, 2020, that the Navy is planning to form the Peninsula Command on the Eastern and Western Command.

• General Bipin Rawat was talking to the media. He said that India wants to establish two to five theater commands in the country. He clarified that IAF’s Air Defence Command will be released by the beginning of 2021 while peninsula command will be established soon.

• General Bipin Rawat said that a study has been ordered to start the Air Defence Command under the chairmanship of the Vice Chief of Air Force. It will be helpful in situations like aerial attacks.

Indian Railways zone becomes 1st in India to have energy-neutral stations

• Indian Railways takes a huge leap towards environmental sustainability. The Indian Railways South Central Railways (SCR) zone has become the first zonal railway in the country to have functional “energy neutral” railway stations on the network.

• The anticipated energy generation from these energy neutral stations is coming to be around 3 lakh units annually. The SCR zone expects that solar power generated at these stations will lead to savings of Rs 13 lakh per year.

• The total capacity of all the solar panels installed at the 13 energy neutral stations is 99 kWp

All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal 2020 held in New Delhi

• The annual All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was held in New Delhi.

• The one day conference was attended by Judicial and Administrative Members from all 17 Benches of CAT from across the country, members of the CAT Bar Association and eminent Jurists, who deliberated on key issues related to the functioning of the Tribunal and priorities for 2020.

• The Conference was presided over by Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Maharashtra starts first intercity electric bus service

• The first intercity electric bus service between Mumbai and Pune was started on February 14, 2020. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated this electric bus service.

• This bus has a seating capacity of 43 people. This bus can cover a distance of 300 km on a single charge.

• The Government of India will also start this type of bus service in other parts of Maharashtra. This bus will be run under the public-private partnership model.

International

India, Norway to strengthen bilateral cooperation to contain marine pollution

• Union Minister for Environment Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar stated, the year 2020 will be a Super Year for Environment.

• He stated, India has initiated Ocean dialogue with Norway to address the problem of Marine Plastic litter. Both countries decided to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the field of environment and climate change particularly in the field of marine pollution.

• Both countries discussed ways to ensure that the coming decade will be of rapid global action on the Environment. India and Norway have formed joint working groups on Blue economy with sustainable development.

Banking and Economy

DMart’s Radhakishan Damani is second richest man in India: Forbes

• Riding on the ongoing stock rally of Avenue Supermarts, founder Radhakishan Damani has become the second most richest in India, behind Reliance Industries’s Mukesh Ambani ($57.4 billion).

• According to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires Index, the total net worth of Damani is at $17.8 billion.

Moody’s lowers GDP growth rate for 2020 to 5.4 per cent

• Coronavirus dents optimism just as global economy was starting to show signs of stabilisation

• Amidst indications of the deadly coronavirus hitting global growth, international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service lowered the estimate for India’s economic growth rate for 2020 by 120 basis points (100 basis points make up one percentage point).

Sports

Koneru Humpy wins Cairns Cup chess tournament

• Grandmaster Koneru Humpy recorded another win in the Cairns Chess tournament. Humpy and Grand Master Drona Valli Harika drew in the ninth and final round in St. Louis, USA.

• Humpy scored six points and won the title. World champion Zu Wezun finished second with five and a half points Drona Valli Harika secured fifth place with four and a half points.

• She will get five ELO rating points that will take her to the second position in the world rankings. She became World Rapid Champion in December 2019.

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