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Current Affairs 21 March 2020

We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 21 March 2020, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2020 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 21 March 2020

Current Affairs 21 March 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Ministry of Defence signs Rs 880 crore contract for Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Guns with Israeli Weapons Industries

On March 19, 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given his approval to the Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence for a capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), an Israeli firearms manufacturer. The contract enables the procurement of 16,479 Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Gun (LMG) at a cost of Rs 880 crore. The weapons are procured under the Fast Track Procedure (FTP).
About Negev 7.62X51 mm:
Introduced by IWI in 2012, Negev 7.62X51 mm LMG is a combat-proven weapon and is used by several countries. This LMG greatly enhances the casualty and range of a soldier. Its other features include semi-automatic and fully-automatic modes for firing and to throw grenades.
Features:
-Weight- 7.95 kg without magazines and other accessories.
-Total length- 1100 mm
-Refracted length- 1,030 mm
-In the semi-automatic mode, the weapon can fire 600 rounds in a minute.
-In fully automatic mode, the rate of firing can go up to 750 rounds in a minute.
Need for LMG in Indian Forces:
The provisioning of LMG is operationally urgent as it will boost the confidence of the frontline troops and also provide combat power to the Indian Armed Forces.
About Israel Weapons Industries:
Establishment– 1933
Headquarter– Ramat HaSharon, Israel
About Ministry of Defence
Minister of State (MoS)- Shripad Yesso Naik
Departments- 5: Department of Defence (DOD), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW), and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the newest Department of Military Affairs(DMA).

Finance Commission sets up committee to review the fiscal consolidation road mapFinance Commission review fiscal consolidation

On March 19, 2020, an 8-member committee is set up by Finance Commission(FC) to review the fiscal consolidation road map of state & central governments. The committee is headed by 15th Finance Commission Chairman Nand Kishore Singh.
Key Points:
i.By considering all of India’s explicit and measurable debt, it will make recommendations on the definition of deficit & debt for central government, overall states,  general government and public sector enterprises(government levels) by bringing consistency between the definition of debt(stock) and deficit(flow)….Click here to Read More

PM Modi formed COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

On March 19, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared the formulation of COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force, to be led by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Its objective is to tackle the economic challenges arising out of novel coronavirus outbreak.

  • In this regard, Sitharaman held a meeting with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Nitin Gadkari, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel to assess the situation.

Duties of task force:
-The task force is mandated to execute measures to reduce the economic difficulties facing by various sectors.
-It should maintain a regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.

SIDBI to launch a special train ‘Swavalamban express’ on June 5, 2020, for new entrepreneurs

On March 19, 2020, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a development financial institution in India, engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has decided to launch a special train ‘Swavalamban Express’ on June 05, 2020, to empower budding entrepreneurs under its mission Swavalamban.
Key Points:
i.The train will visit 11 cities in 15 days and will cover a 7000 km journey. Around 20 workshops and interactions will be held to promote entrepreneurial culture among the youth about financial and non-financial aspects of enterprise running. Participant individuals should be between the age of 20 and 35 years.
ii.The train will start from Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh-UP) and thereafter to Jammu, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and finally reach Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
iii.The train journey will also focus on the Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
About Mission Swavalamban: It is an umbrella program to boost entrepreneurship amongst the youth. Several steps related to SIDBI Vision 2.0 towards supporting innovative, inclusive and impact-oriented engagement are being taken under this.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Headquarters-
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman and Managing Director(MD)– Mohammad Mustafa

BANKING & FINANCE

ICICI Lombard introduced ‘COVID-19 Protection cover’ for Coronavirus positive case

On March 19, 2020, ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India ) Lombard, a private sector non-life insurance company has introduced a 1 year-long “COVID-19 Protection Cover” at a premium of Rs. 149. Launched in group insurance mode, this policy will pay 100% of the sum insured to the COVID-19 positive individual, irrespective of hospitalization expenses.

  • It should be noted that it provides a sum insured of 25,000 including value-added benefits such as Health Assistance and CHAT/Virtual assistance, teleconsultation and ambulance assistance, as part of the offering.

Key Points:
-The age group of 18-75 years is eligible for COVID-19 protection cover.
-100% of the opted sum insured will be paid as a lump sum in the event of first diagnosis itself.
-Its coverage is limited to the geographical boundaries of India.
-It does not include people with travel history to any overseas location post-December 31, 2019, people quarantined for suspected COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 prior to the risk inception date or within the initial 14-Day waiting period.
-The policy is introduced on the lines of ICICI Lombard’s ethics of “Nibhaaye Vaade” (Keeping Promises) to introduce industry-first initiatives for its customers.
About ICICI Lombard
Parent organization– ICICI Bank
Headquarters– Mumbai
MD & CEO– Bhargav Dasgupta

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Fitch Ratings cuts India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY’21 from 5.6%

On March 20, 2020, Fitch Ratings in its Global Economic Outlook 2020 has declined India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY 2020-21 due to the coronavirus outbreak which is likely to impact business investment and exports. For FY 2021-22, Fitch has projected India’s growth at 6.4%.
Key Points:
-Due to coronavirus crisis, Fitch Ratings lowered the Global Growth forecast for 2020 to 1.3% from 2.5% (Predicted in December 2019), the revision leaves 2020 global GDP(Gross Domestic Product) USD 850 billion dollars lower than the previous forecast, the growth fall to 1.3% in 2020 will be weaker than 1990 and 2001 global growths.
-In December 2019, Fitch projected India’s growth at 5.6% for 2020-21 and 6.5% in the FY2021-22.
-This downward revision is not only impacted by coronavirus but it also worsened due to steady decline in the financial position of Yes Bank.
About Fitch Ratings:
It is a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research.
President– Ian Linnell
Headquarters– New York, United States (US)

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Indian mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta enters ‘Limca Book of Records’Satyarup Siddhanta enters Limca Book of Records

On March 19, 2020, Indian mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta hails from Kolkata, West Bengal, 37 years old, entered ‘Limca Book of Records’ (LBR) for his extraordinary achievements, as the first Indian to climb the highest volcanoes of each of the 7 continents. He also holds the record as the youngest mountaineer in the world to climb both 7 peaks and 7 volcanic summits.
Key Points:
i.Satyarup Siddhanta completed his 7 summits & 7 Volcanic summits in January 2019 and was recognized by LBR.
ii.Records of Satyarup Siddhanta: Satyarup Siddhanta holds Guinness Book of World Records, Asia book of records, India book of Records, Champion Book of Records, British Book of Records etc.,
iii.7 Volcanic summits of Satyarup: Ojos del Salado (6,893 m) in Chile, South America, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) in Tanzania, Africa, Mount Elbrus (5,642 m) in Russia, Europe, Mount Pico de Orizaba (5,636 m) in Mexico, North America, Mount Damavand (5,610 m) in Iran, Asia, Mount Giluwe (4,367 m) in Papua New Guinea, Australia and Mount Sidley (4,285 m) in Antarctica.
About Limca Book of Records (LBR):
Limca Book of Record is a book of achievements made by Indians in India & abroad in many fields of human endeavour. It is the second book of records in the world after the Guinness Book of World Records.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS      

RBI appoints R Gandhi & Ananth Gopalakrishnan as additional directors of Yes Bank

On March 20, 2020, In the exercise of powers under the ‘Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020’ and the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed 2 additional directors namely – Rama Subramaniam Gandhi (former RBI Deputy Governor) & Ananth Narayan Gopalakrishnan (Associate Professor of S P Jain Institute of Management & Research) on the board of private sector lender Yes Bank for a period of 2- years with effect from March 26, 2020.
Key Points:
i.Ananth, an expert in international banking and financial markets, served as regional head of financial markets for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and South Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.
ii.Gandhi was previously appointed as an additional director to Yes Bank’s board in May 2019 till 13 May 2021 and was being reappointed on 5 March 2020 after the bank’s board was superseded.
iii.Earlier on March 14, 2020, yes bank appointed former Chief Financial Officer & deputy Managing Director(MD) of SBI Prashant Kumar as its MD & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and the former Punjab National Bank (PNB) MD Sunil Mehta as Non-Executive Chairman, Mahesh Krishnamurthy & Atul Bheda as its non-executive directors.
About YES Bank:
Headquarter
– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our Expertise
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Headquarters
– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– 4 (BP Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra) & N S Vishwanathan, who is due to retire on July 3, 2020, had resigned on March 5, 2020.

    SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Government launched MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp

On March 20, 2020, the government launched MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp to create awareness among citizens about the coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic.
Key Points:
i.The official Whatsapp chatbot can also be used to resolve queries in relation to COVID-19 using the number 9013151515.
ii.Besides this, the government has also set up 2 helpline numbers, +91-11-23978046 and 1075 (toll-free) & an email id ([email protected]) to resolve the queries of Indian citizens.
iii.In addition to this Google has also initiated a campaign named ‘Do the Five. Help stop Coronavirus’ in its search home page that lists out the five things people should follow to prevent coronavirus & also issued Push Notifications on the Google App for Android & iPhone Operating System (iOS) users in India.
iv.Furthermore, initiatives include SOS Alerts, country-specific Search Trends pages & a promo card on the YouTube Homepage which links to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) website for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

OBITUARY

Indian football legend P.K. Banerjee passed away at 83football legend P

On March 20, 2020, Indian football player Pradip Kumar Banerjee passed away at the age of 83 in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was born on June 23, 1936, in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.
Key Points:
i.P.K Banerjee scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.
ii.Banerjee led India in the 1960 Rome Olympics and also represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
iii.Awards & honours: He was one of the first recipients of Arjuna Award when the awards were instituted in 1961. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1990 and was named Indian Footballer of the 20th century by International Federation of Football History & Statistics(IFFHS).

Banerjee won Asian Games gold medal in 1962, won the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 1992, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) awarded him the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

A new book entitled ‘Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great expectations’ penned by Tavleen Singh releasedA book titled Messiah Modi A Tale of Great Expectations

On February 18, 2020, A new book entitled ‘Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great  Expectations’ written by senior journalist & author Tavleen Singh has been released.
Key Points:
i.The book, published by HarperCollins India, narrates the early support for Modi the candidate by the author, once a great supporter of the government.
ii.It also talks about helpless dissatisfaction with Narendra Modi the Prime Minister (PM), his cabinet, the story of his first term as a journey from lynchings to demonetization up to Article 370, the most controversial law CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) & the promises he made in his first term.
iii.The author also stated that Modi is the most isolated PM that she has seen in Delhi.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Sparrow Day 2020:  March 20world sparrow day 2020

World Sparrow Day (2020) is observed every year on March 20 and was first celebrated in 2010 initiated by the Nature Forever Society (NFS). This day is celebrated globally to spread awareness about the importance of sparrows and their major functional conservation values.
Key Points:
i.The theme of the World Sparrow Day is I LOVE Sparrows. The theme aims to highlight the love that people have for sparrows.
ii.This day is also celebrated to use it as a platform for conserving sparrows and urban biodiversity. House sparrow was declared the state bird of Delhi in 2012.
Nature Forever Society:
Nature Forever Society(NFS) is focused on conserving common bird species such as House Sparrow. NFS is founded by Mohammed Dilawar, an Indian conservationist who received the title Heroes of the Environment for 2008 by Time magazine. It aims to raise awareness on the need to save both the native flora and fauna of India.

International Day of Happiness 2020: March 20International Day of Happiness

On March 20th of every year, the United Nations declares “International Day of Happiness” to be celebrated worldwide.
The day creates awareness of the importance of happiness in everyone’s life around the world.
Theme of the year 2020:  “Happiness For All Together”.
The theme also conveys to promote and advance worldwide solidarity & unity, in winning the global fight against COVID 19 (Coronavirus disease).

The ten steps to be followed for global happiness are: –

1. Lets Stick Together

2. Follow World Health Organization Advice

3. Virtually Attend A World Happiness Event

4. Stay Social Online

5. Be Kind And Share

6. Stay Active And Mindful

7. Stay Optimistic, Positive, And Resilient

8. Stay Informed About Facts And News, Avoid Myths

9. Enjoy Nature And The Environment By Getting Outside

10. Happytalism: Think About Systemic Change We Can Make So This Never Happens Again.

Background :

In 2012 the first-ever UN conference on Happiness took place and the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness would be observed every year on 20 March. It was celebrated for the first time in 2013.

Key Points:
i.The concept of Happiness Day was founded by Jayme Illien, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the United Nations New World Order Project, the founder of happytalism and the day has been celebrated since 2013.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People 2020: March 20World Day of Theatre for Children

March 20, 2020, is celebrated as the world day of theatre for children and Young People. It is an ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People campaign & celebrates the performing arts for children & young people worldwide.
i.The main purpose of the day is to draw the attention of the wider public to children’s and young people’s theatre.
ii.For children, it is promoted & celebrated through the slogan ‘Take a Child to the Theatre Today’ which is a call to parents, grandparents & guardians to take the children in their care to the theatre on the day.
iii.This focus helps to ‘make the case’ for children’s entitlement to theatre and the arts.
iv.Drama practitioners for Children and Youth Conduct special events to highlight drama for young audiences in their home countries and communities.

STATE NEWS

J&K Government sets up Social and Educational: BC commission JK govt sets up backward classes commission

On 19th March 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir Government sets up a commission named as “J&K Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission” will be headed by Justice (retired) GD Sharma to examine the social and educational backwardness of various backward classes people, dalits, in the Union Territory.
-J&K Handicrafts, Handloom Development Departments to be merged
On March 19, 2020, the Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir approved the merger of J&K Handicraft Corporation and J&K Handloom Development Corporation into J&K Handloom and Handicrafts Marketing Corporation (JKHHMC) for effective convergence and marketing….Click here to Read More

Himachal Pradesh Government launched Police Station Visitor Survey System and e-Night Beat Checking System

On March 19, 2020, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Jai Ram Thakur launched Police Station Visitor Survey System and e-Night Beat Checking System for Himachal police in Shimla. These systems help the Police Department to provide an immediate response to the complaints registered in the police stations.
Key Points:
i.About Police Visitor Survey System: This system helps in creating a database of the complaints & visitors visiting the Police Stations, Police Posts and all other police units.
ii.The system is linked with ‘http://bit.ly/HPPolice’ , which helps the public to fill the complaints directly through online and all SPs (Superintendent of Police) of the district, range & police headquarters will monitor the feedback being given by the public.
iii.The link would be shared by the police with the public through social and print media, Jan Manch meetings, Nasha Nivaran Samiti meetings, Community Policing Meetings, etc., to provide justice to the people and the system also identifies the persons filling fake feedback.
iv.About e-Night Beat Checking System: The system helps the state police department to track the suspected vehicles & criminals who move in the night.
v.The system automatically captures the date, time and GPS (Global Positioning System) Location of the policeman on beat patrolling / night checking duty & thus would help in ensuring the increased presence of police on the roads for better safety of the citizens.
About Himachal Pradesh:
Capital- Shimla (summer capital) and Dharamshala (winter capital).
Governor- Bandaru Dattatreya.

Meghalaya CM presented Rs 17,375 crore budget for FY 2020-21Meghalaya CM presents deficit budget

On March 19, 2020, Meghalaya’s Chief Minister(CM) & Finance minister Conrad Kongkal(K) Sangma presented a Rs 17,375 crore budget for the Financial Year(FY)2020-21 in the state assembly with the fiscal deficit of Rs 1,532 crore which is around 3.53 % of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). Megha Health Insurance Scheme enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per family with no restriction on family size.Rs 50 crores allocated for health infrastructure development in rural areas.

Key Points:
i.Receipt It estimated revenue receipts of Rs 15,353 crore, capital receipts of Rs 2,022 crore & borrowings of Rs 1,995 crore….Click here to Read More

Sanitary personnel in Tamil Nadu to be called as ‘cleanliness workers’: CM

On March 19, 2020, According to the Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM), Karuppa Gounder Palanisamy (known as Edappadi K. Palaniswami), a total of 64,583 sanitary personnel employed by urban and rural civic bodies in the State will be called as ”cleanliness workers” (Thooimai Paniyalargal in Tamil) to honour their work.
i.The state will also implement a scheme worth of Rs 4,300 to install smart meters for 42 lakh electricity consumers to compute their power consumption.
ii.The state will launch other schemes worth of Rs 1,998 crore to develop the power distribution infrastructure, under which it will upgrade 230 kV (Kilovolt) sub-station at Alagarkoil in Madurai district into a 400 kV station and enhancing two 110 kV sub-stations into 230 kV facilities.
About Tamil Nadu:
Capital
– Chennai
Governor– Banwarilal Purohit
Dance– Bharathanatyam
National Parks(NP)- Guindy NP,Gulf of Mannar Marine NP, Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) NP, Mudumalai NP, Mukurthi NP.

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
S.no   Current Affairs 21 March 2020
1 Ministry of Defence signs Rs 880 crore contract for Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Guns with Israeli Weapons Industries
2 Finance Commission sets up committee to review the fiscal consolidation road map
3 PM Modi formed COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
4 SIDBI to launch a special train ‘Swavalamban express’ on June 5, 2020, for new entrepreneurs
5 Fitch Ratings cuts India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY’21 from 5.6%
6 ICICI Lombard introduced ‘COVID-19 Protection cover’ for Coronavirus positive case
7 Indian mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta enters ‘Limca Book of Records’
8 RBI appoints R Gandhi & Ananth Gopalakrishnan as additional directors of Yes Bank
9 The government launched MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp
10 Indian football legend P.K. Banerjee passed away at 83
11 A new book entitled ‘Messiah Modi: A Great tale of expectations’ penned by Tavleen Singh released
12 World Sparrow Day 2020:  March 20
13 International Day of Happiness 2020: March 20
14 World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People 2020: March 20
15 J&K Government sets up Social and Educational: BC commission
16 Himachal Pradesh Government launched Police Station Visitor Survey System and e-Night Beat Checking System
17 Meghalaya CM presented Rs 17,375 crore budget for FY 2020-21
18 Sanitary personnel in Tamil Nadu to be called as ‘cleanliness workers’: CM

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