We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 23 & 24 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 25 Current Affairs of 23 & 24 March 2020
Gujarat Police becomes first in India to introduce taser guns
On March 20, 2020 The Gujarat Police is equipped with taser guns in order to ensure safety and security of the public. By introducing the taser guns as part of police weapons, Gujarat becomes the first state in India.
i.The taser guns were used in agencies such as the UK Metropolitan Police, the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department.
ii.About taser guns: The taser guns have been introduced to find an alternative between “ineffective lathis” and “deadly guns”.
iii.The taser guns (electrical weapon) use compressed nitrogen to fire, by sending electricity through attached wires, which disrupt voluntary control of muscles.
Chief Minister (CM)– Vijay Ramniklal Rupani.
Governor– Acharya Devvrat.
101 Special Economic Zones denotified: Government
On March 20, 2020 Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal informed that The Board of Approval on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) has approved 101 cases of de-notification between April 1, 2008 & February 29, 2020 on the request of SEZ private developers which include poor market response, lack of space demand & a change in the fiscal regime for SEZs.
i.The denotified approval is subject to the refund of all obligations and tax credits obtained by SEZ Private Developers and on receipt of no-objection from the concerned State Governments.
ii.Under the Chairmanship of Baba Kalyani, the chairman of Bharat Forge the government formed a committee to study the SEZ Policy of India on 04.06.2018. Several recommendations of the committee have already been implemented.
It is an area within the country which has more liberal economic laws than the country’s domestic economic law to expand the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). SEZ in India is under the ministry of commerce & industry.
Cabinet Approval on March 21, 2020
On March 21, 2020, Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
- Cabinet approves inclusion of 12,500 AYUSH Health-Wellness Centres in National Ayushman Mission; outlay Rs 3399.35 crore
- Cabinet approved Rs 3,762.25 crore Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme
- Cabinet approves Rs 3,420 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and Rs 400 crore Promotion of Medical Device Parks Scheme
- Cabinet approves Rs 3,000 cr Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks Scheme; Rs 6,940 crore PLI scheme approved for (KSMs)/Drug Intermediates
- Cabinet approves Rs 40,995 crore Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing
- Cabinet approves Rs.3,285 crore Scheme for Promotion of manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors
- Cabinet approves expenditure for reimbursing the losses under MSP operations for cotton during the cotton years (October to September) 2014-15 to 2018-19
- Prices of alcohols used in making hand sanitizers capped under Essential Commodities Act….Click here to Read More
Cabinet approved the extradition treaty between India and Belgium
On March 21, 2020 the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi announced that it has approved to sign & ratify the extradition treaty between India and Belgium, which will enable the countries to surrender any person found in its territory who is accused of or convicted in an extraditable offence in the territory of the other party.
What is an extraditable offence?
It means an offence punishable by 1 year or more in accordance with the laws of both parties. If extradition is requested, the sentencing period will be at least 6 months. Taxation, or even one of the income-related offences or financial matters, is within the scope of this agreement.
Refusal of Extradition
The treaty states that if the offence involved is a political offence & also if the offence requested is a military offence the extradition will be refused. The agreement also mentions some offences which will not be considered as political offences.
The benefit of the Treaty
The treaty will provide a legal framework to hand over terrorists, economic criminals and other criminals from & to Belgium. After the ratification, the agreement will take effect from the day the exchange of instruments between India & Belgium.
The new extradition treaty will replace the pre-independence treaty between Great Britain & Belgium in 1901, which was applicable to India by the exchange of letters in 1958 & is currently in effect.
PM- Sophie Wilmès (1st female PM)
Gujarat Government signs an MoU with Dutch Flying car-maker, PAL-V
A Dutch Flying car-maker, PAL-V (Personal Air Land Vehicle) will set up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat. A Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) was signed in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister (CM) Vijay Ramniklal Rupani between state industries Principal Secretary MK Das and Carl Maasbommel, Vice President of PAL-V’s international business development.
i.The Dutch car company sets up the firm for the first time in India and has set a target of commencing production by 2021.
ii.The company has chosen Gujarat state for its world-class infrastructure, ease of doing business, better port and logistic facilities.
iii.The car manufactured in the state would also be exported to the United States (US) and European nations. The company so far received 110 orders to export flying cars.
About PAL-V :-PAL-V is a Dutch company which developing the first commercial flying car or Roadable aircraft namely the PAL-V Liberty. Headquarters – Netherlands
UK becomes 1st co-chair of India-led global climate initiative ‘CDRI’
On March 21, 2020, The Government of United Kingdom (UK) has become the first co-chair of the Governing Council on the India-led global climate initiative ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)’,which was created by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on September 23, 2019 during the UN (United Nations) Climate Summit in New York, US(United States). The secretariat of the Coalition will be in New Delhi.
i.The UK, which is going to host crucial UN climate change conference 2020 (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2020, has confirmed as co-chair during first council meeting of the body over video-conference attended by UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Alok Sharma and India’s P K Mishra, the Prime Minister’s principal secretary.
ii.The global Coalition-CDRI is a voluntary international grouping, associating governments, UN (United Nations) bodies, banks, private sector entities, and academia to prepare the world to face the issue of extreme weather events due to climate change.
iii.India will offer financial assistance of Rs 480 crore to the CDRI to help support research projects, establish secretariat and meet the recurring expenditure for a period of 5- years from 2019-20 to 2023-24.
About CDRI’s Governing Council:
It is the highest policy-making body of CDRI and co-chaired by India and a representative of another national government nominated every 2 years.
About UK (United Kingdom):
Prime Minister– Boris Johnson
Constituent countries– England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
Currency– Pound sterling
Coronavirus outbreak: India’s 1st AI summit ‘RAISE 2020’ postponed to October
On March 21, 2020, Amid the growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the Indian government announced the postponement of the country’s 1st summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), ‘RAISE 2020– Responsible Artificial intelligence (AI) for Social Empowerment’ to October 5-6, 2020.
It was to be conducted between April 11 & 12, 2020 in New Delhi by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
i.The summit is a drive to India’s vision & roadmap for social empowerment, inclusion & transformation through AI.
Headquarter– New Delhi
Union Minister– Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad
Bridge constructed by BRO over Teesta River in North Sikkim opened for traffic
On March 21, 2020, The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened a 360 feet long bailey suspension bridge for traffic over Teesta River in Munshithang near Chungthang town, North Sikkim. The bridge constructed will be useful for the people residing in Lahen town, North Sikkim.
i.About Construction: Under the Project Swastik, the 86 Road Construction Company (RCC) of 758 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF), commenced the construction of the bridge in October 2019 & completed in January 2020.
ii.The bridge constructed will facilitate the movement of logistics for the Armed forces deployed in forward areas and also acts as tourist spots.
iii.In June 2019, a steel bridge of 180 feet span at the same location was completely damaged due to a massive cloud burst resulting in severing the lines of communication in the North District of Sikkim.
Chief Minister (CM)– Prem Singh Tamang.
Governor– Ganga Prasad Chaurasia.
India ranks 120th, Singapore tops: Economic Freedom Index 2020
On March 23, 2020 the Heritage Foundation published its 26th annual edition of Economic Freedom Index 2020 to measure the level of economic freedom in 186 countries. India (56.5) ranks in 120th position & Singapore (89.4) tops the index for the 1st time.
i.Hong Kong(89.1) for the 1st time secured 2nd rank since the 1st publication in 1995
ii.India secures 28th rank among 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region & also has made improvement in its score by 1.3 points from 2019….Click here to Read More
Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan jointly contribute $3.5 mn to SAARC corona emergency fund
On March 22, 2020, The Government of Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan have pledged to contribute $1.5 million, $1 million and $1 million respectively to the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Corona Emergency Fund proposed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on March 15,2020 with an initial grant of $10 million from India to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
i.Earlier, the governments of Maldives and Bhutan also pledged to provide $200,000 and 100,000 respectively. The remaining two nations of SAARC- i.e Pakistan and Sri Lanka are yet to declare their contribution for the fund.
ii.India also provided material assistance in the forms of masks, gloves and disinfectants with a cost of $1 million to SAARC countries in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19.
Headquarters– Kathmandu, Nepal
Secretary–General– H. E. Mr. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon
Members (8)– Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Singapore rescheduled World Cities Summit 2020 to 20 – 24 June 2021 due to COVID-19
On March 21, 2020 Singapore has rescheduled the 7th World Cities Summit (WCS) 2020 to 20 – 24 June 2021 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which includes, Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG). The summit is organized by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority .The theme of WCS is Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Adapting to a Disrupted World, it was earlier scheduled from July 5 to 9, 2020.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI outlined Business Continuity Plan for smooth functioning national payment systems
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for the first time, shared its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to ensure zero disruptions in the national payments systems (NPS) due to the coronavirus outbreak. The national payment system includes National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), e-Kuber for government transactions, etc.
- In this regard, RBI has created a team of 37 officials comprising key personnel from debt management, reserve management, monetary operations, and 113 officials from service providers.
- BCP is basically a recovery plan or process to prepare for anticipated disruptions….Click here to Read More
In a first, Karur Vysya Bank introduces pre-paid card ‘Enkasu’ in Karur, TN
On March 21, 2020, In a bid to promote digital India initiative of the central Government, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), a Scheduled Commercial Bank in India, has launched India’s 1st prepaid wallet card ‘Enkasu’ (My cash in Tamil) in Karur,Tamil Nadu (TN) under its Quit cash movement.
i.The card functions based on Near Field Communication Technology (NFC) in a semi closed loop & the customers buying this card can make ‘tap & go’ payments for even small purchases to merchants from an amount of Rs. 1 to doing away with the need for cash & small change.
ii.These cards are special in a sense that it can be accepted ‘online’ & ‘offline’ as well.
iii.KVB customers can recharge the card through various ways including the bank’s mobile App ‘DLite’, UPI (Unified Payments Interface), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) or through its all 7 branches in Karur.
iv.Non-customers of the bank can also get this card even if they do not have a bank account anywhere but with the condition of ensuring KYC guidelines.
About Karur Vysya Bank (KVB):
Headquarters– Karur, Tamil Nadu
MD & CEO– Mr. P. R. Seshadri
Tagline– Smart Way to Bank.
RBI extends regulatory restrictions on PMC Bank for 3 more months till June 22, 2020
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the 6-month regulatory restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank which was posted on September 23, 2019 due to financial irregularities, hiding and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL (Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited). Now, the restriction is extended for three more months i.e. from March 23, 2020 to June 22, 2020 to work out a revival scheme.
- The restriction has been imposed under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 on withdrawal and lending.
- RBI also superseded the board and the management of PMCbank and appointed an ex-RBI official JB Bhoria as the administrator at the bank.
- It should be noted that the RBI has no powers to enforce reconstruction schemes for cooperative banks unlike “Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020”.Regulation of urban cooperative banks is divided between the RBI and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies (RCS), while for smaller co-operative banks it is divided between National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and RCS.
Covid-19: SBI becomes the 1st bank to launch emergency credit facility
On March 23, 2020, State Bank of India (SBI), an Indian multinational, public sector bank, became the 1st bank to launch COVID 19 emergency credit line (CECL) to provide funds to businesses affected by the infectious coronavirus.
i.Under this emergency credit line, loan will be given at a fixed interest rate of 7.25 % for a period of 12 months. Maximum loan amount of up to Rs 200 crore or 10 % of the existing fund-based working capital limits (FBWC) will be provided and such facility will be available by 30 June 2020.
ii.The loan facility is available for all standard accounts which are not classified as Special Mention Account (SMA)-1(whereby principal or interest payment or any other amount is wholly or partly overdue between 31-60 days) or SMA-2 (61-90 days) till 16 March 2020.
iii.Also existing SBI customers who have availed special loan products like “SME Assist”, “SLC for MSME” and “SLC for GST Input Credit” etc, under the MSME category can also avail this loan facility.
Anyhow, total additional exposure, including the present facility, should not exceed 25 % of the FBWC exposure.
About Special mention accounts (SMA):
SMA are those assets/accounts that show traits of bad asset quality in the first 90 days itself or before it being identified as NPA(Non-Performing Assets).
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Rajnish Kumar
Digital banking platform– Yono
Tagline– The Banker to Every Indian, With you all the way, Pure Banking Nothing Else, The Nation’s banks on us.
RBI to inject Rs 30k cr into market for financial stability amid Covid-19
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is all set to inject liquidity of Rs 30,000 crore through open market operations (OMOs) on March 24 and March 30, 2020 to maintain financial stability and liquidity in all markets segments during coronavirus outbreak
- The RBI will purchase government securities under OMOs in two tranches of Rs 15,000 crore each. OMO is the sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills by the central bank of the country.
- Already, RBI infused Rs 10,000 crore through open market operations, last week.
- RBI will purchase securities with a coupon rate of 6.84 per cent (maturity December 19, 2022); 7.72 per cent (May 25, 2025); 8.33 per cent (July 9, 2026) and 7.26 per cent (January 14, 2029).
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
IOC becomes 1st company to begin the supply of BS-VI fuel across country
On March 22, 2020, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s biggest oil firm, began the supply of the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel across the country. All 28,000 petrol stations of IOC’s across the country are dispensing BS-VI (Bharat Stage- VI) ultra-low sulphur grade fuel in order to reduce the pollution from vehicles in the air.
i.India has switched to the cleanest fuel as other fuel retailers such as Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) are also supplying BS-VI grade fuel.
ii.The Government of India had set April 1, 2020 as the deadline for starting supply of Euro- VI (equivalent to BS-VI grade) fuels in all petrol stations.
iii.About BS-VI: The BS-VI has a low sulphur content of 10 ppm (parts per million) & emission standards are as good as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
iv.India adopted Euro-III equivalent (or Bharat Stage-III) fuel with a sulphur content of 350 ppm in 2010 and then took 7 years to move to BS-IV that had a sulphur content of 50 ppm & from BS-IV to BS-VI it took 3 years.
About IOC (Indian Oil Corporation):
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Chairman– Sanjiv Singh.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Hillel Furstenberg & Gregory Margulis won Abel Prize Laureates 2020
On 18, 2020 The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named Israeli-American Hillel Furstenberg from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Russian-American Gregory Margulis from Yale University, USA as winners of the Abel Prize 2020. They share the prize & the amount of Norwegian Krone (NOK) 7.5 Million (USD 8.3400).
i.They are awarded for their “pioneering use of methods from probability & dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics”.
ii.They used probabilistic methods & random walks techniques to solve deep problems in diverse areas of mathematics….Click here to Read More
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Govt. set up a committee under Dr V K Paul to prevent & control COVID-19
On March 22, 2020 the government set up a 21 member high-level technical committee of public health experts to guide the people in preventive & control activities of COVID-19.
i.The committee is headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul & is co-chaired by Union Health Secretary- Preeti Sudan, Director General Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- Balram Bhargava
ii.Other members include director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)- Randeep Guleria, director of National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Delhi- Sujeet Singh, director of the institute of infectious diseases, Pune- Sanjay Pujari & additional chief secretary of Kerala- Rajan Khobragade.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches website for information related to COVID- 19
On March 22, 2020 The SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Disaster Management Centre launched a website [www.covid19-sdmc.org] for information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the region as announced by the Indian Prime Minister (PM) Shri Narendra Modi during the recent video conference with SAARC leaders.
i.About website: The website displays full data and updates about the coronavirus cases in the SAARC countries that include India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
ii.Contributions: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives & Nepal have also joined India voluntarily in contributing to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
iii.India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has pledged an amount of 10 million USD (United States Dollar) as an initial contribution from India.
Famous Actor and Director M. R. Viswanathan passed away at 75
On March 22, 2020, Famous actor, director and stage artiste Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan, popularly known as Visu passed away at the age of 75 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN).
He was born on July 1, 1945, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN).
i.About Viswanathan: He was a writer for films such as Pattina Pravesam & Thillu Mullu, he also began acting, directing and had also assisted director K. Balachander on a few films.
ii.Awards: His film “Neenga Nalla Irukkanum” won the National award for the Best Film on social issues in 1992.
iii.Popular films: Visu’s popular films includes Manal Kayiru, Samsaram Adhu Minsaram, Aval Sumangalithan & Dowry Kalyanam were known for their strong, family-centric subjects.
iv.Debate shows: He also hosted popular debate shows such as Arattai Arangam & Makkal Arangam which dealt with social issues.
v.Viswanathan joined BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in the year 2016.
World Meteorological Day 2020: March 23
The World Meteorological Day (WMD 2020) is observed every year on March 23 organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in the year 1950. The theme of WMD 2020 is “Climate and Water”.
i.It is celebrated globally to showcase the efforts of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society.
ii.This day also commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 1950.
iii.WMO is originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), to facilitate the exchange of weather information across national borders.
About World Meteorological Organization:
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Parent organization– United Nations Economic and Social Council
World Water Day 2020: March 22
The World Water Day is observed globally on March 22 every year, to highlight the importance of freshwater.
Theme of the year 2020: “Water and Climate Change”.
The theme highlights the urgent importance of strengthening water security & establishing sustainable water supply in the face of changing climate conditions worldwide.
i.World Water Day celebrates water & raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water and the main purpose of the day is to achieve Sustainable Development Goal which includes water and sanitation for all by 2030.
ii.The World Water Day was formally proposed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
iii.The United Nations (UN) General assembly adopted a resolution and declared March 22, as World Water Day and observed since 1993.
iv.The day was included with other events such as the International Year of Cooperation in the Water Sphere 2013, and at present the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development (2018-28).
Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
On March 20, 2020, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari appointed Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. He was sworn in at Raj Bhavan. He will succeed Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog.
i.President of India, Ram Nath Kovind issued a notification for appointing him as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
ii.Members present at the ceremony are Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and HC judges.
iii.He is to retire from the post of Chief Justice on April 24, 2020.
Chief Minister– Uddhav Thackeray
Governor– Bhagat Singh Koshyari
|Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)|
|S.no||Current Affairs 23 & 24 March 2020|
|1||Gujarat Police becomes first in India to introduce taser guns|
|2||101 Special Economic Zones denotified: Government|
|3||Cabinet Approval on March 21, 2020|
|4||Cabinet approved extradition treaty between India and Belgium|
|5||Gujarat Government signs an MoU with Dutch company of Flying car-maker PAL-V|
|6||UK becomes 1st co-chair of India-led global climate initiative ‘CDRI’|
|7||Coronavirus outbreak: India’s 1st AI summit ‘RAISE 2020’ postponed to October|
|8||Bridge constructed by BRO over Teesta River in North Sikkim opened for traffic|
|9||India ranks 120th, Singapore tops: Economic Freedom Index 2020|
|10||Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan jointly contribute $3.5 mn to SAARC corona emergency fund|
|11||World Cities Summit 2020 rescheduled to 20 – 24 June 2021: COVID-19|
|12||RBI outlined Business Continuity Plan for smooth functioning national payment systems|
|13||In a first, Karur Vysya Bank introduces pre-paid card ‘Enkasu’ in Karur, TN|
|14||RBI extends regulatory restrictions on PMC Bank for 3 more months till June 22, 2020|
|15||Covid-19: SBI becomes the 1st bank to launch emergency credit facility|
|16||RBI to inject Rs 30k cr into market for financial stability amid Covid-19|
|17||IOC becomes 1st company to begin supply of BS-VI fuel across country|
|18||Hillel Furstenberg & Gregory Margulis: Abel Prize Laureates 2020|
|19||Government constitutes 21 member committee: COVID-19|
|20||SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches website for information related to COVID- 19|
|21||Famous Actor and Director M. R. Viswanathan passed away at 75|
|22||World Meteorological Day 2020: March 23|
|23||World Water Day 2020: March 22|
|24||Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court|