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Current Affairs 14 March 2020

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

WCD ministry notifies new POCSO rules 2020 with stringent punishments for sexual offences against childrenPOCSO actOn March13, 2020, In exercise of the powers conferred by section 45 of the POCSO Act, 2012, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), Government of India (GoI), has notified the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Rules, 2020 by replacing the earlier 2012 Rules. The new rule will able to implement the recent amendments to this law, under which the provisions of punishment for sexual exploitation of children have been further made stringent. The new POCSO rules became effective from March 9, 2020.

  • The State Government’s have been asked to provide information about child helpline services through toll-free number 1098….Click here to Read More

NDLS to be redeveloped as World Class StationGoS constituted for pvt passengers train operatorsOn March 11, 2020, the committee chaired by Bibek Debroy has recommended concession of commercial operation of train service like Rajdhani/Shatabdi to private parties. Already, Railways proposed to initiate 150 passenger trains through private operators in PPP (Public-private partnership) mode on 100 routes by 2022.
New Delhi Railway Station to be converted as World Class Station; a first of its kind

As part of Modi government’s long-term plan to upgrade the conditions of the stations, the New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) will be converted into a world-class railway station with an estimated outlay of Rs 6500 crore….Click here to Read More

Ministry of Home Affairs sanctions Rs 365 crore for Sabroom ICP in Tripura
Ministry of Home Affairs has sanctioned Rs.365 crores for constructing New Integrated Check Post (ICP) of About 130 km at Sabroom, Tripura. This is the second Integrated Check Post to be built along the Indo-Bangla border.
Key Points:
i.This Integrated Check Post is built to link the bridge of river Feni with Chittagong division of the neighbouring country.
ii.The Akhaura Integrated Check Post is the First check post built in the Indo-Bangla border at Agartala, Tripura in 2013.
iii.Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that Tripura will be awarded as the fastest-growing state in the country and Agartala will receive the fastest growing city award.
iv.The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Tripura to attract investments (1st SEZ in Tripura) is being set up at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom.
About Tripura:
Capital- Agartala
Chief Minister- Biplab Kumar Deb
Governor- Ramesh Bais

First regional edition of “Divya Kala Shakti event” held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN)First regional edition Divya Kala Shakti-Witnessing the Abilities in DisabilitiesOn March 12, 2020, First regional edition of “Divya Kala Shakti Event” (Witnessing the Abilities in Disabilities) held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN). Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of TN witnessed the performances and V. Saroja, Minister of Social Welfare and Nutritious Noon Meal programme and senior officers participated in the occasion.
The event was organised by the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), in association with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Aim: The Divya Kala Shakti event aims to provide a platform for the disabled to exhibit their talents.
Key Points:
i.98 Divyangjan: Divya Kala event brought 98 children and youth with various disabilities, including vision and hearing impairment, locomotor disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual disabilities.
ii.Participants: The participants were from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry.
iii.Divyangjan performed dance, music, instrumental in classic, folk & modern style. The event also holds yoga and acrobatics for the first time.
iv.Nearly 1000 invitees including Persons with Disabilities, Parents of Persons with Differently Abled, teachers, care-givers and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisation) were presented in the occasion.

Crime Multi-Agency Centre and National Cybercrime Training Centre were launched on 35th Inception Day of NCRB
On March 12, 2020, The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its  35th Inception Day. Shri Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home was the chief guest of the occasion launched Crime Multi-Agency Centre (Cri-MAC) and National Cybercrime Training Center (NCTC) in New Delhi.
Key Points:
i.About Cri-MAC: Platform to share information between various police forces on serious crimes & other issues related to inter-state coordination.
ii.About NCTC: The National Cybercrime Training Center provides professional-quality e-learning services on cybercrime investigation to police officers, judges, prosecutors and other stakeholders.
iii.The role of NCRB was praised for networking 15,933 police stations and 8,208 higher police officers across the country under the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems) project.
iv.Shri Ram Phal Pawar, Director, NCRB, mentioned that NCRB has released all the pending publications this year including ‘Crime in India’, ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’, ‘Prison Statistics India’ & ‘Finger Print in India’, which is widely referred by the researchers, policymakers etc.,
v.Shri V.S.K. Kumudhi, DG (Director General), BPR&D (Bureau of Police Research and Development), was the Guest of Honour, DGs and Senior officers from various central & state police organizations as well as former DGs of NCRB attended the function.
About NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau):
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Motto- Empowering Indian Police with IT (Information Technology).

Centre invokes ‘Epidemic Act 1897’ and ‘Disaster Management Act 2005’ to prevent spread of COVID-19; Karnataka, first state to enact 1897 Actcorona virus Epidemic Act and Disaster Management ActOn March 12, 2020, during the review meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, the centre has decided to invoke Epidemic Act 1897 to ensure that multiple government advisories issued from time to time by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare/State/UTs on COVID-19 becomes enforceable. In this regard, all the states and union territories (UTs) of India are advised to invoke the provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897….Click here to Read More

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, which means a widespread disease. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus & can be controlled. The virus was 1st identified in China.
What is a pandemic? A pandemic describes an infectious disease where we see significant and ongoing person-to-person spread in multiple countries around the world at the same time. The last time a pandemic occurred was in 2009 with swine flu, which experts think killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Terms to know:
Outbreak– Refers to the number of cases (disease) that exceeds what would be expected
Endemic– An infection within a geographic location that is existing perpetually
Pandemic– A global endemic
About WHO:
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Director-General- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

India gained C grade, no country made up to A grade: Animal Protection Index 2020Animal Protection IndexOn March 12, 2020, World Animal Protection released the 2nd edition of global Animal Protection Index (API) 2020, where India gained C grade (also in 1st edition in 2014) with other 8 countries which indicates India is one of the better-performing countries. Tragically no country gained A grade.
Gist about API 2020

i.It aims to display whether countries are doing well & where they lack on animal welfare policy & legislation so that steps could be taken to improve….Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

SBI Board approved Rs 7,250 cr fund infusion into Yes Bank, Stake remains under 49%SBI approves Rs 7,250 crOn March 12, 2020, the executive committee of the central board of State Bank of India (SBI) has approved an investment of Rs 7,250 crore in Yes Bank Ltd. as a part of RBI formulated rescue plan titled “Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020” for the revival of Yes Bank. The SBI has not specified its shareholding the bank but it will remain under 49% of the paid-up capital of the Yes Bank.

  • The investment has been made by purchasing 725 crore equity shares of Yes Bank at a price of Rs 10 per share….Click here to Read More

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

India’s current account deficit narrows dramatically to $ 1.4 bn in October-December 2019 quarter: RBICurrent account ficsitOn March 12, 2020, According to the report “Developments in India’s Balance of Payments during the third quarter (October-December) of 2019-20”, released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s current account deficit (CAD) fell sharply to $ 1.4 billion, or 0.2 % of GDP (gross domestic product), for the October-December 2019 quarter of the current financial year (FY 2019-20) due to the lower trade deficit and an increase in net services revenue….Click here to Read More

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS  

India’s first Living Culinary Arts and Museum of WGSHA  enters Limca Book of Records
On March 12, 2020, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) entered the Limca Book of Records (LBR) for establishing “India’s First Living Culinary Arts Museum” at WGSHA, Manipal, Karnataka. The process of WGSHA’s Culinary museum’s entry into the popular LBR started almost 6 months back and Chef Vikas Khanna was the founder of the first living culinary arts museum at WGSHA.
Key Points:
i.About Culinary Arts Museum: The museum was opened in the year April 2018, spread approximately over 25,000 square feet & the structure of the museum is shaped in the form of a giant pot.
ii.The Museum consists of historical as well as household items such as plates made by the Portuguese in India, an old seed sprinkler, an ancient Kashmiri tea brewer known as ‘samovar’, a 100-year-old ladle used to dole out food at temples and bowls dating to the Harappan era.
iii.The vessels from the Konkan, Udupi & Chettinad regions, apart from a large collection of rolling pins, utensils of all shapes and sizes, tea strainers of different types etc. are found in the museum.
iv.About LBR: Limca Book of Record is a book of achievements made by Indians in India and abroad in many fields of human endeavour. It is the second book of records in the world after Guinness Book of World Records.

Nita Ambani, Serena Williams & Simone Biles named in Influential Women in Sports list 2020
On March 12, 2020 Sports business network, iSportconnect released the ‘Influential Women in Sport’ list for 2020, which named Nita Ambani, Serena Williams & Simone Biles along with 7 other women.
i.Nita Ambani led her Mumbai Indians franchise to become the most successful in IPL history & is in many sports projects across different sports in the country.
ii.Tennis player, Serena Williams’s overall impact both on the court, (the greatest female player of all time), & as a businesswoman.
iii.Gymnast Simone Biles is currently one of the greatest athletes in the world & an ever-growing voice for women in sport
iv.Footballer Megan Rapinoe is never afraid to speak her mind and talk about social issues and has become a prominent figure in women’s sport.
Other women who made in on the list

  • Ellie Norman- Director of Marketing & Communications of Formula 1
  • Cathy Engelbert- Commissioner of Women’s National Basketball Association(WNBA)
  • Fatma Samoura- Secretary-General of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
  • Mary Davis- Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Special Olympics
  • Clare Connor- Managing Director of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Women’s Cricket
  • Naomi Osaka- Tennis player.

     APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

Central Government nominates Debasish Panda as Director central board of RBI   
Shri Debasish Panda, the Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi, was nominated by the central Government as a Director on the Central Board of Reserve Bank with effect from 11th March 2020.
i.Debasish Panda an IAS officer of 1987-batch, Uttar Pradesh, then appointed as a Secretary, Department of Financial Services.
About Reserve Bank of India:
i.Reserve Bank of India(RBI) was established on 1st April 1935 formed under the Reserve Bank of India Act (1934).
ii.The RBI headquarters was first established in Calcutta(Kolkata) and moved to Mumbai, Maharashtra in 1937. The Reserve Bank’s affairs are governed by a central board of directors. The board is appointed by the Government of India in keeping with the Reserve Bank of India Act.
About Ministry of Finance:
Departments- Department of Expenditure, Department of Disinvestment, Department of Financial Services, Department of Economic Affairs.
Established- 1946
Jurisdiction India
Minister- Nirmala Sitharaman

iQOO named Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador
iQOO (i Quest On and On) named Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. The brand’s first product in India is iQOO 3, 5G-enabled smartphone. iQOO is a sub-brand of Vivo in China and has entered India as a separate entity & also part of the BBK group. The BBK (Guangdong Bu Bu Gao Electronics Industrial Private Limited) group markets smartphones of 5 brands: Vivo, OnePlus, OPPO, RealMe and iQOO (in India).

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) appointed actor Randeep Hooda as its new wildlife ambassador species that swim
Conventions of Migratory Species (CMS) has appointed ambassadors for representing species that run, fly and swim until 2023. Bollywood Actor Randeep Honda appointed as the ambassador for species that swim (aquatic), while Australian Sacha Dench will be an ambassador for the species that fly (avian) and British biologist Ian Redmond will be the ambassador for the species that runs (terrestrial).
About CMS (Convention on Migratory Species):
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild animals also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges.
Headquarters- Bonn, Germany.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS      

Bharti Airtel took 10% stake in fitness start-up Spectacom Global ltd
On March 12, 2020, Bharti Airtel Limited (also known as Airtel), an Indian global telecommunications services company, has acquired a 10 % equity stake in fitness start-up Spectacom Global Pvt Ltd, under its ‘Airtel Startup Accelerator Program’, which focuses on supporting the growth of early-stage Indian startups. However, the company did not reveal how much the deal is worth.
Key Points:
i.With this acquisition, Spectacom becomes the 2nd  firm to join the Airtel Start-up Accelerator Program after Bengaluru-based Vahan.
ii.Under the deal, Airtel will jointly work with Spectacom to help boost awareness and adoption of the latter’s health and fitness platform and encourage common man to handle the mental issues.
iii.Due to the widespread proliferation of mobile Internet in India, this partnership will help Spectacom to create training and nutrition videos as well as live sports events that Airtel will deliver through its platforms Airtel Xstream and Wynk Music.
About Bharti Airtel Ltd:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Sunil Bharti Mittal
About Spectacom Global Pvt Ltd:
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Founders– Adnan Adeeb and Zeba Zaidi

SPORTS

World Athletics fines Russia of USD 10 million & caps neutral athlete at 10
On March 12, 2020, the World Athletics Council fines the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) of USD 10 million for violating the anti-doping rules & capped at 10 the number of Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) who were allowed to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, other specified World Athletics &European Athletics senior events.
Key Points:
i.Only when ANA status is granted by the World Athletics Doping Review Board, there will be no restriction on the number of authorised neutral athletes who can take part in
international one-day events around the world.
ii.ANA process to be suspended if USD 5 million of the USD 10 million fine is not paid by 1 July 2020.
iii.The remaining USD 5 million will be suspended for 2 years, but if during the period RusAF violates the Anti- Doping rules or fails to satisfy the reinstatement conditions set by Council then the amount should be paid immediately.
About World Athletics:
It is formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation & International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Headquarters– Monaco
President– Sebastian COE

OBITUARY

Former Czech Olympic javelin champion Dana Zatopkova dies at 97javelin champion Dana Zatopkova diesDana Zatopkova (97), a former Czechoslovak javelin-thrower, passed away on 13th March 2020.  She is an Olympic javelin champion, won gold in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and won the Olympic silver in Rome in 1960.

  • Dana Zatopkova was born on September 19, 1922 in Frystát, Czechoslovakia.
  • She also won a European championship in 1954 and 1958 and in 1958, she set the world record of 55.73 meters.  Helsinki Organizing Committee declared her “the happiest gold medalist”. She served as a coach in 1960 and retired from the role in 1980.

About Czechoslovakia:
Capital- Prague
President- Miloš Zeman

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Sleep Day was observed on March 13, 2020World sleep day 2020The World Sleep Day was observed on March 13, 2020. The day creates awareness about the importance of healthy sleep, to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
The theme of the year 2020:
“Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet”.
Key Points:
i.The day is celebrated annually since 2008 and the event is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, formerly known as the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).
ii.World Sleep Day will be held on Friday annually before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year.

STATE NEWS

CM Yogi Adityanath launched 3 schemes during ‘Kaushal Satrang’ programme held in Lucknow, UP
On March 13, 2020, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath launched three ambitious schemes for skill development and employment generation for the state youths, during the ‘Kaushal Satrang’ programme organized by the Vocational Education and Skill Development and Labour and Employment Exchange departments at the Lok Bhawan in Lucknow, UP. Apart from this, it was announced that ‘Arogya Mitras’ at all primary health centres of the states will be deployed to inform people about the govt health schemes.

  • The schemes are Kaushal Satrang, CM Yuva Hub and CM Apprenticeship scheme.
  • Kaushal Satrang will have seven components which will provide opportunities to the youth. In this regard, UP govt has inked MoU with IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology)-Kanpur and other placement agencies for the employment of 2 Lakh youth and to train the state’s youth for world level competitions.
  • 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 will provide a stipend of Rs 2500 to the youth of the state.

About Uttar Pradesh
Capital– Lucknow
Governor– Anandiben Patel

AC GAZE

Nitin Gadkari requests to spread information about “Udyam Sakhi” portal: Lok Sabha
Minister of micro, small and medium enterprises(MSME), Nitin Gadkari has requested the Lok Sabha members to spread the information about an MSME initiative “Udyam Sakhi” Portal, which was launched in 2018. This portal is for women entrepreneurs of India and to facilitate the networking of women startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, mentors, students and enterprise facilitators.

Telangana youngest Mountaineer Amgoth Tukaram  scales Australia’s highest Mount Kosciuszko
A young mountaineer Amgoth Tukaram from Telangana has scaled Australia’s highest peak  Mount Kosciuszko(2,228 metres), who also scaled the Mount Kilimanjaro(19,308 feet) in Africa, the Mount Everest (29,029 feet) in Nepal,  Mount Elbrus(18513 ft) in Russia and Mount Aconcagua(22,837 feet) in South America.

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S.No  AffairsCloud Today(Current Affairs Today): 14 March 2020
1 WCD ministry notifies new POCSO rules 2020 with stringent punishments for sexual offences against children
2 Bibek Debroy committee recommended concession of Rajdhani/Shatabdi to private parties; NDLS to be redeveloped as World Class Station
3 Ministry of Home Affairs sanctions Rs 365 crore for Sabroom ICP in Tripura
4 First regional edition of “Divya Kala Shakti event” held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN)
5 Crime Multi-Agency Centre and National Cybercrime Training Centre were launched on 35th Inception Day of NCRB
6 Centre invokes ‘Epidemic Act 1897’ and ‘Disaster Management Act 2005’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19; Karnataka, the first state to enact 1897 Act
7 World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as pandemic
8 India gained C grade, no country made up to A grade: Animal Protection Index 2020
9 SBI Board approved Rs 7,250 cr fund infusion into Yes Bank, Stake remains under 49%
10 India’s current account deficit narrows dramatically to $ 1.4 bn in October-December 2019 quarter: RBI
11 India’s first Living Culinary Arts and Museum of WGSHA  enters Limca Book of Records
12 Nita Ambani, Serena Williams & Simone Biles named in Influential Women in Sports list 2020
13 Central Government nominates Debasish Panda as Director central board of RBI
14 iQOO named Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador
15 Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) appointed actor Randeep Hooda as its new wildlife ambassador species that swim
16 Bharti Airtel took 10% stake in fitness start-up Spectacom Global ltd
17 World Athletics fines Russia of USD 10 million & caps neutral athlete at 10
18 Former Czech Olympic javelin champion Dana Zatopkova dies at 97
19 World Sleep Day was observed on March 13, 2020
20 CM Yogi Adityanath launched 3 schemes during ‘Kaushal Satrang’ programme held in Lucknow, UP
21 Nitin Gadkari requests to spread information about “Udyam Sakhi” portal: Lok Sabha
22 Telangana youngest Mountaineer Amgoth Tukaram  scales Australia’s highest Mount Kosciuszko

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