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Current Affairs 31 March 2020

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 31 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 31 March 2020

Current Affairs March 31 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM Narendra Modi formulated PM-CARES fund to fight coronavirus outbreakPM Narendra Modi announces PM-CARES fund

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created assistance and emergency situation relief fund namely Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) where people can contribute and help in the government’s fight against coronavirus. This newly created public charitable trust has PM Narendra Modi as the chairman and defence minister (Rajnath Singh), home minister (Amit Shah) and the finance minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) as its members.

  • People can visit pmindia.gov.in to make contributions using credit and debit cards, UPI, net banking and RTGS or NEFT.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) is the banking partner of PM-CARES….Click here to Read More

Centre approves medical insurance scheme for health workers dealing with COVID-19Insurance for Health workers new

On March 29, 2020 the centre has approved a Rs 50 lakh medical insurance scheme for healthcare workers who are dealing with coronavirus pandemic. The approval made is a part of measures under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package of Rs 1.7 lakhs announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Under these conditions the centre approved the scheme;
i.It provides insurance cover for 90 days to around 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers….Click here to Read More

Government set up 11 different empowered groups: LockdownGovernment constitued 11 different empowered groups

On March 30, 2020 the government has set up 11 different empowered groups under Disaster Management Act, 2005 to suggest measures to improve health, restore the economy, & ease the suffering of people after a 21-day lockdown which is imposed for the control of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Key Points
i.Each group consists of about 6 members including a senior representative from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination….Click here to Read More

EPF (Amendment) scheme, 2020 comes into force; withdrawal of non-refundable advance allowed

On March 28, 2020, the Employees Provident Fund (Amendment) scheme, 2020, has come into force by amending Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF)Scheme 1952.A sub-para(3) under para 68L has been added in the EPF scheme, 1952. This amendment has been made by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

  • This amendment allows the withdrawal of non-refundable advance by EPF members in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
  • This non-refundable withdrawal should not exceed the basic wages and dearness allowance (DA) for three months or up to 75% of the amounts standing to the credit of their EPF account, whichever is less.

EPFO has directed its field officers for quick processing of applications received from EPF members as a relief measure for helping them to tackle COVID-19 outbreak. Amendment comes into force from March 28, 2020.
Union Labour and Employment Minister– Santhosh Kumar Gangwar
EPFO – HQ– New Delhi
CEO or Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC)– Sunil Barthwal

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC)National Teleconsultation Centre

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched CoNTeC an acronym for COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre, a Telemedicine Hub in New Delhi to connect the Doctors across the country to AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in real time for treatment of the COVID-19 patients.

  • This Centre conceptualised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has been implemented by the AIIMS, New Delhi with 24X7 facilities.
  • CoNTeC has been made operational at AIIMS with a single mobile number (+91 9115444155) that can be dialled from anywhere in the country/world by COVID-19 treating doctors.
  • Their queries will be answered by expert doctors from various clinical domains through 2 way audio-video and text communications.
  • The decision has been taken to make AIIMSas hub of activity for the district hospitals to connect with them for consultation, telemedicine, education, training, interaction and exchange of protocols between themselves.
  • The CoNTeC is also fully integrated with the National Medical College Network (NMCN) to conduct a full-fledged Video Conference (VC) between the 50 Medical Colleges connected through the NMCN with its National Resource Centre located at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

It should be noted that the patient management advice offered will be standardized as per the national guidelines supplemented protocols developed by the team at AIIMS, nominated by the Director, AIIMS.

BANKING & FINANCE

ADB commits $ 100 million in Indian infrastructure sector through NIIFADB announces funding for Indian infrastructure sector

On March 30, 2020, Asian Development Bank (ADB),a regional development bank will invest $100 million into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India Fund of Funds (FoF). With this, the FoF has now received a total of  $700 million in commitments.
Key Points:
i.The investment comes at a time when India’s economy is expected to suffer huge losses due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
ii.This will help in increasing the capital of domestic private equity funds in India. It will also contribute a great deal in providing long term growth financing for private sector companies, social infrastructure development and economic development.
iii.FoF of NIIF was created in 2018 with the aim to invest in a variety of sectors and strategies through third-party managed funds. Till now, it has secured commitments to 3 Funds totalling to over Rs.2,600 crore ($350 million).
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– Sujoy Bose

SFBs can provide risk-free simple financial services without seeking RBI’s nod

On March 28, 2020, Small Finance Banks (SFBs) have received permission from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to carry out non risk sharing simple financial service activities that don not require any commitment of own fund,without seeking the latter’s prior approval. This permit is applicable only to those SFBs who have completed three years of operations.

  • The Central Bank has also allowed for general permission to all existing SFBs to open banking outlets subject to adherence to Unbanked Rural Centre norms.
  • SFBs: 1949 and primarily governed by Banking Regulation Act,1949 and RBI Act,1934. They provide basic banking service of acceptance of deposits and lending to demographic sections that are not being served by other banks. SFBs were recommended by the NachiketMor committee on financial inclusion.

Merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 to come into force from April 1: RBI

The mega bank consolidation plan is all set to come into force from April 1, 2020.  The branches of merging banks will operate as of the banks in which these have been amalgamated. Also, the customers of merging banks will be treated as customers of the banks in which these banks have been merged with effect from April 1, 2020.

  • The government on March 4 had notified the amalgamation schemes for 10 state-owned banks into four as part of its consolidation plan to create bigger size stronger banks in the public sector.
  • As per the scheme, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged into Punjab National Bank; Syndicate Bank into Canara Bank; Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank; and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank into Union Bank of India.

PNB releases new logo ahead of merger with UBI & OBC on April 1, 2020PNB unveils new logo

On March 30, 2020, The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a new logo before the mega merger of the bank with the United Bank of India (UBI) and the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) comes into force from 1 April, 2020. The new logo will have signages of all the 3 banks.
i.With the merger, PNB will be the 2nd largest bank in the country with a total business and size of Rs 17.94 lakh crore. Currently, State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest bank in the country, whose total business is about 52 lakh crore rupees.
About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
Headquarters
– New Delhi
MD & CEO– S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
Tagline– The name you can bank upon.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

IMF declared recession in World due to COVID-19 impactWorld is now in recession

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has declared a global recession driven by the COVID-19 pandemic that could be worse than the 2008-09 global financial crisis. But recovery is also projected in 2021, if the nations succeed in curbing the coronavirus as well as limiting the economic damage.
What is Recession?
The term recession is a macroeconomics term and refers to a period of decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months. It has an unfavourable impact on real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales….Click here to Read More

Fitch slashes India’s GDP growth estimate for FY21 to 4.6% from 5.4 %

On March 30, 2020, Fitch Ratings Inc, an American credit rating agency, has lowered India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast to 4.6% for the fiscal year FY21 (April 2020 to March 2021) from the previous estimate of 5.4%. It cuts the rate due to weak domestic demand and private consumption, which put pressure on the investment amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Key Points:
i.Earlier on March 2, 2020, Fitch has lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 4.9% for the fiscal year –FY20 (2019-2020) ending March 31, 2020 from 5.1% due to coronavirus and supply disruptions.
ii.The agency stated that even though the Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic package released in 2019, private consumption growth would be shattered in future.
iii.Earlier on March 21, 2020 Fitch Ratings in its Global Economic Outlook 2020 has reduced India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY 2020-21 and S&P Global Ratings lowered the forecast for 2020 to 5.2% from 5.7 %. Apart from this, the rating agency Moody’s has lowered India’s growth projection to 5.3% for 2020 from 5.4% because of Coronavirus.
About Fitch ratings:
Headquarters
– New York, United States (US)
President– Ian Linnell

Ind-Ra trims India’s GDP forecast to 3.6% from 5.5% for FY21

On March 30, 2020, India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra), the Indian subsidiary of Fitch group, has lowered India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for the financial year 2020-21 (FY21) to 3.6 % from 5.5% due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID- 19).
Key Points:
i.The rating agency believes that a full or partial lockdown will go away in late April 14, 2020 and economic activity will only slowly derail after May.
ii.The agency estimates the growth rate to be 2.3 % in the June quarter, which is lower than the agency’s 4.7 % GDP estimate for the current fiscal FY-20.
iii.The growth rate in the first half of the FY-21 is expected to be 2.8 %, which is much lower than the 5.3 % growth in the year-ago period. The growth rate may improve to 4.3 % in the second quarter of the next financial year, which is higher than the 4.2 % estimate for the second half of FY 2020.
About India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.
It is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group.
MD & CEO– Rohit karan Sawhney

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Mirza Waheed and Santanu Das win The Hindu Prize 2019Santanu Das, Mirza Waheed win The Hindu Prize 2019

The Hindu prize (annual) 2019 is awarded to Mirza Waheed’s Tell Her Everything (Fiction)-2019 and Santanu Das’s India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs (Non-Fiction)-2018.
Key Points
i.Mirza Waheed’s novel talks about human ethics, noble love & the corrosive nature of companionship & is published by Westland Publications Limited (Context).
ii.He also has written 2 other novels namely: The Collaborator(2012), The Book of Gold Leaves(2014) & also is a journalist.
iii.Santanu Das’ book retrieves the intellectual worlds of militants, non-combatants and civilians from India, who were not divided in World War I, is published by Cambridge University Press.
iv.He also has written Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature(2006).
v.Prize was founded in 2010 to honor writers who have spent the rest of their lives mining the human spirit with their words & ideas.

Winners of Critics’ Choice Film Awards 2020 announcedCritics Choice Film Awards

On March 28, 2020 the winners of Critics’ Choice Film (annual) Awards 2020 were announced digitally to honour Best Film, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Director and Best Writing across 8 languages namely: Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati and Kannada….Click here to Read More

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

COVID-19: IIT Bombay develops two apps “Corontine” and “Safe” to track violations by those in quarantineIIT Bombay develops two apps “Corontine” and “Safe”new

On March 29, 2020, As the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) crisis spreads, IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Bombay developed 2 mobile applications called “Corontine” and “Safe”, that can track violations by people supposed to be in quarantine. The proposals of both apps have been sent to officials in the Ministry of Human Resource and Department, Niti Aayog, the Maharashtra government and the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation)….Click here to Read More

OBITUARY

Air Vice Marshal (retd) & Maha Vir Chakra recipient Chandan Singh Rathore passed away at 95Chandan Singh Rathore Indian AirForce

On March 29, 2020, Air Vice Marshal(AVM) retired, Maha Vir Chakra(MVR) recipient (1971) & Group Captain  Chandan Singh Rathore passed away at 95 at his Jodhpur residence, Rajasthan.
Key Points
i.He was born on December 3, 1925 in Bagawas near Jodhpur.He distinguished himself as a young aviator during the Sino-India 1962 war & the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
ii.Awards received are- Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (1961), Vir Chakra (1962).
iii.His joined Indian Air Force(IAF) on July 27th, 1946 & Retired on 30th Apr 1980.
About MVR & Vir Chakra
MVR is the 2nd highest decoration award after Param Vir Chakra for the brave deeds performed in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, sea or air & Vir Chakra, the 3rd in a row. Biography of Chandan Singh Rathore -“A Cavalier in the Sky” to be released soon.

German Minister Thomas Schaefer passed away at 54Germany finance minister Thomas Schaffer

On March 30, 2020, Thomas Schaefer, Finance Minister of Hesse (Germany), 54 years old, has committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the Coronavirus. He was born on February 22, 1966, in Hemer, North Rhine- Westphalia, West Germany.
Key Points:
i.About Thomas Schaefer: Thomas served as Finance Minister of Hesse for 10 years (2010-20). He was a lawyer & belonged to the CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) party. He was the possible successor of Volker Bouffier.
ii.Fact: Hesse is home to Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central bank is also located in Frankfurt.

Tamil folk singer, actress Paravai Muniyamma passed away at 83Tamil folk singer, actress Paravai Muniyamma

On March 29, 2020, Tamil Folk singer and actress Paravai Muniyamma passed away at the age of 83 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu (TN). She was born on June 26, 1937 in Paravai, Madurai, Tamil Nadu (TN).
Key Points:
i.About Paravai Muniyamma: The acting career of Muniyamma began in the year 2003 in the film Dhool. Her song “Madurai Veeran” became a huge hit. She had appeared in over 50 films, usually playing grandmother roles.
ii.She also had a successful stint on television with her cooking show in which she showcased various traditional recipes.
iii.Awards: In March 2019, Muniyamma was honoured with the Kalaimamani title by the Tamil Nadu government.
iv.Fact: Due to Paravi Muniyamma’s ill health & financial woes, former Chief Minister (CM) and AIADMK (All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam) general secretary of TN late J Jayalalitha had announced financial assistance of Rs. 6 lakh & a monthly aid of Rs 6000 to her in the year 2015.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

National Book Trust, India of MHRD to launch ‘Corona Studies Series’ booksNational Book Trust, India of MHRD to launch ‘Corona Studies Series’ books

On March 29, 2020, National Book Trust (NBT), India, the national body for book publishing and book promotion under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, is launching a publishing series titled ‘Corona Studies Series’ to document and to provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-corona readership needs.
Key Points:
i.The Corona Studies Series engages readers with various aspects of the Corona times by bringing out affordable books in various Indian languages.
ii.The NBT has also started #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks initiatives by uploading pdfs (portable document formats) of best selling books for free download and had received a tremendous response.
iii.Other initiatives: MHRD also set-up a Study Group comprising some experienced & young psychologists/ counsellors to prepare books on the sub-series ‘Psycho-Social Impact of Corona Pandemic and the Ways to Cope’.
iv.It also prepares Children’s books to know Our Corona Warriors, other story and picture books related to various aspects of Coronavirus.
About National Book Trust (NBT):
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Chairman– Govind Prasad Sharma.
Director– Yuvraj Malik.

A book titled The Death of Jesus authored by JM CoetzeeA book titled The Death of Jesus authored by JM Coetzee

On March 30, 2020, Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee, who authored the book “The Death of Jesus”, completed his Jesus trilogy (a group of 3 related novels) with the final book. The book explores the meaning of a world empty of memory but brimming with questions.
Key Points:
i.The book comprises 3 novels: The Childhood of Jesus, The Schooldays of Jesus and the Death of Jesus.
ii.Publisher: All the books in the trilogy have been published by Penguin Random House.
iii.About JM Coetzee: He is a South-African born novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003  Nobel Prize in Literature.
iv.Other awards of Coetzee: He also won the Booker Prize, the CNA (Central News Agency) Prize, the Jerusalem Prize,  Prix Femina étranger (French literary award), the Irish Times International Fiction Prize etc., and honorary doctorates.

STATE NEWS

Maharashtra Chief Secretary gets another 3-month extension: COVID-19

On March 28, 2020 The centre has accepted the request from Maharashtra government for a further 3-month extension to Ajoy Mehta as state Chief Secretary who will remain in the post till June 30 due to state health emergency (coronavirus).
Key Points:
i.He is a Indian Administrative Officer(IAS) of 1984 batch who was appointed as the state chief secretary & was to retire on September 30 2019. But considering the 2019 assembly polls, he was given an extension of 6 months, which was ending on March 31.
ii.The Senior IAS officer is the 1st bureaucrat in the state to get an extension beyond 6 months.
iii.Earlier, 2 former chief secretaries of the Jayant Kumar Banthia and Johny Joseph, were given 6 month extensions after their retirement.
AboutMaharashtra:
Chief Minister(CM)– Uddhav Thackeray
Governor– Bhagat Singh Koshyari

AC GAZE

Rajasthan police launched a mobile app named “RajCop citizens app”

Rajasthan police launched a mobile app called “RajCop citizens app” to enable individuals and company employees in the state take permission for venturing out in necessary conditions which was developed by  Data Ingenious GLobal Limited.

Saudi Arabia assures uninterrupted LPG supply to India

Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has announced that Saudi Arabia assured India to get uninterrupted Liquefied petroleum gas(LPG) supply during the discussion on global oil market developments with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Aramco’s Chief Executive Amin Nasser via video conference.

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
S.no           Current Affairs 31 March 2020
1 PM Narendra Modi formulated PM-CARES fund to fight coronavirus outbreak
2 Centre approves medical insurance scheme for health workers dealing with COVID-19
3 Government set up 11 different empowered groups: Lockdown
4 EPF (Amendment) scheme, 2020 comes into force; withdrawal of non-refundable advance allowed
5 Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC)
6 ADB commits $ 100 million in Indian infrastructure sector through NIIF
7 SFBs can provide risk free simple financial services without seeking RBI’s nod
8 Merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 to come into force from April 1: RBI
9 PNB releases new logo ahead of merger with UBI & OBC on April 1, 2020
10 IMF declared recession in World due to COVID-19 impact
11 Fitch slashes India’s GDP growth estimate for FY21 to 4.6% from 5.4 %
12 Ind-Ra trims India’s GDP forecast to 3.6% from 5.5% for FY21
13 Mirza Waheed and Santanu Das win The Hindu Prize 2019
14 Winners of Critics’ Choice Film Awards 2020 announced
15 COVID-19: IIT Bombay develops two apps “Corontine” and “Safe” to track violations by those in quarantine
16 Air Vice Marshal (retd) & Maha Vir Chakra recipient Chandan Singh Rathore passed away at 95
17 German Minister Thomas Schaefer passed away at 54
18 Tamil folk singer, actress Paravai Muniyamma passed away at 83
19 National Book Trust, India of MHRD to launch ‘Corona Studies Series’ books
20 A book titled The Death of Jesus authored by JM Coetzee
21 Maharashtra Chief Secretary gets another 3-month extension: COVID-19
22 Rajasthan police launched a mobile app named “RajCop citizens app”
23 Saudi Arabia assures uninterrupted LPG supply to India

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