We are here for you to provide the important Current Affairs March 1 2019, which have unique updates of all daily 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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NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission partners with Adobe to enhance creativity in ATL Schools
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Adobe signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to collectively drive the charter of developing creative skills and spreading digital literacy across all Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in India.
i. 100 schools will be adopted by Adobe under the ATL initiative and will be implementing its Digital Disha Program in ATLs, under which free licenses of Adobe Spark premium shall be offered to ATLs.
ii. The Adobe Digital Disha Programme, launched in 2018, is aimed at driving synergies in creative thinking and technology-based learning. Under this collaboration with AIM, children and teachers across these schools and communities shall benefit from creative learning resources and empowering them with new age skills to thrive in the current digital era and preparing them for long term success.
- It is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
- As a part of AIM, ATLs are being established in more than 5,000 schools in India where students of class 6th to class 12th acquire problem solving and innovation skills, developing innovative solutions leveraging Tinkering technologies like 3D printers, robotics, miniaturised electronics, IOT and programming, do it yourself kits with support from teachers.
About Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL)
- It is based on the philosophy to identify and nurture innovation in young students across India.
- AIM has collaborated with various partners from industry and academia and these collaborations have resulted in qualitative enhancement of future skills and digital capabilities of the ATL ecosystem.
SHREYAS portal launched by Prakash Javadekar for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities to youth
Union Human Resources Development Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar, launched the Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) with an aim to provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting in April 2019 through the National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS) in New Delhi. The program will enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
i. SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions and industry to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship and the matching of students with apprenticeship avenues will take place as per pre-specified eligibility criteria.
ii. These courses will be available from Academic year April-May, 2019 and more than 40 higher educational institutions have already been tied up for taking up embedded apprenticeship courses.
iii. SHREYAS is a programme basket comprising the initiatives of 3 Central Ministries, which are:
- Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
- Ministry of Labour & Employment.
iv. The initiatives of above ministries are – National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), the National Career Service (NCS) and introduction of BA/BSc/BCom (Professional) courses in the higher educational institutions.
MSP for Minor Forest Produces issued by Ministry of Tribal Affairs
Van Dhan, a scheme for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and Development of Value Chain of MFPs was launched by TRIFED(Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs at a National Workshop in New Delhi.
i. Ministry has expanded the coverage of the Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme to 50 Minor Forest Produces. Also the MSP has risen between 30-40% for all commodities.
ii.6000 Van Dan Vikas Kendras comprising 300 tribal gatherers are to be set up to provide employment to almost 45 Lakh Tribal.
♦ Ministry of Tribal Affairs- Shri Jual Oram
Thaawarchand Gehlot launched 2nd edition of Indian Sign Language Dictionary
On 27th February 2019, 2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary was launched by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot in New Delhi.
i. The Dictionary was developed by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) and it included 6 thousand words under different categories such as legal, academic, technical, medical and everyday terms.
ii. The First edition of dictionary was launched in March, 2018.
‘International Digital Health Symposium’ inaugurated by Anupriya Patel in New Delhi
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Smt. Anupriya Patel, inaugurated the International Digital Health Symposium and an exhibition on Digital Health as a part of the Symposium, at New Delhi, where participant countries along with various Government Ministries, states and other stakeholders showcased key innovations, implementation experiences and innovative Digital Health Interventions.
i. The Symposium provided a forum to learn from global leaders in the field of digital health and innovation and was an opportunity for countries to showcase innovations and share experiences of implementing digital health interventions for health systems strengthening and Universal Health Coverage.
ii. Discussions on various themes were held including:
- Futuristic Health Systems
- Challenges in Health IT Sector
- Privacy and Security in the Digital Arena
- Aadhaar and National Health Stack
- Innovation Ecosystem, Start-ups and AI for Health
- Digital Health Innovations for transforming primary care
- Remote Monitoring/Wearables /IOT/Home based care
- National health information systems
- Financing Digital Health
- Public Health Surveillance Systems
- Enabling Environment for Public Private Partnerships in Digital Health
- Personalized Precision Medicine leading to possible policy interventions and clear outcomes
iii. It was live webcasted and the archived videos are also available on (http://www.gdhpindia.org/webcasting-gallery.aspx/), the official website of ‘4th Summit of Global Digital Health Partnership and International Digital Health Symposium’.
India and Sweden intend to increase cooperation on AMR
Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren, who was on a visit to India from 22nd to 25th February 2019, met with Union Health Minister J P Nadda and discussed about Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) which poses a dangerous challenge globally.
i. Anti-microbial drugs, when overused, AMR develops as microorganisms such as bacteria, virus and fungi that become resistant to drugs.
ii. India and Sweden had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the field of various issues, including AMR, communicable diseases and public health, in February 2009.
iii. Stating that AMR work is an ongoing cooperation between India and Sweden, Lena Hallengren hoped that India would join the “Alliance of Champions”, a creation between many countries globally to face and to fight AMR“.
Tax info exchange agreement inked between India and Brunei
On 28th February 2019, India and Brunei signed a pact for exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to taxes in order to curb tax evasion and tax avoidance in New Delhi.
i. This agreement will facilitate both the countries to exchange information, including banking and ownership information for tax purposes and will also avail mutual assistance in collection of tax revenue claims.
ii. The agreement was signed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Pramod Chandra Mody and High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to India Dato Paduka Haji Sidek Ali.
♦ Capital – Bandar Seri Begawan
♦ Currency – Brunei dollar
♦ Prime Minister – Hassanal Bolkiah.
MoU signed by ICAR and CSIR to collaborate in the field of food and agriculture
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) andCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in order to collaborate in the area of food and agriculture, at ICAR Headquarters, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.
i. The huge network of Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) available with ICAR will be roped in for technology demonstration and dissemination and a Joint Working Committee will be constituted to deliberate and formulate the collaborative programmes and will meet 4 times a year.
ii. Both the sides agreed to form a Steering Committee with the co-chairmanship of both the Director-Generals which will meet twice a year to monitor the progress.
Southern Coast Railway: Piyush Goyal Announces New Railway Zone For Andhra Pradesh
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced a new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh, that is the Southern Coast Railway and it will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam.
i. It will be the 18th zone in the country.
ii. The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway.
iii. The cost of creating infrastructure for a new zone is around Rs. 205 crore.
BANKING & FINANCE
Bancassurance Agreement signed by IDBI Bank and LIC
IDBI Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) signed a bancassurance agreement under which the lender will offer LIC’s insurance products at its branches.
i. As part of the agreement, IDBI Bank will become the preferred bank for LIC premium payments and also function as premium point to boost sale of LIC products, thereby gaining from fees and float income.
ii. The State-owned life insurer, LIC, acquired a majority stake in IDBI Bank, and the bank has also appointed LIC Chairman Hemant Bhargava as its non-executive whole-time Chairman.
About IDBI Bank
♦ Chairman – Hemant Bhargava
♦ MD & CEO – Rakesh Sharma
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Hemant Bhargava
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
RBI will infuse Rs. 37,500 Crore into the system through OMO
On 26th February 2019, The Reserve Bank of India announced that in order to increase liquidity, it will infuse Rs. 37,500 crore into the system through purchase of government securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs) in February.
i. The infusion will be made through three auctions of Rs 125 billion each during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th week. The aggregate amount will be Rs 375 billion.
ii. There will be no auction in first week of February due to scheduled MPC meeting. The dates of auction will be announced by RBI in due course.
About Reserve Bank of India
♦ Governor – Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
PNB ranks highest in implementation of ‘Reforms agenda’
According to BCG-IBA Report on EASE Reforms index released by Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Punjab National Bank (PNB) which is fraud hit bank, secured the top spot among all public sector banks in the implementation of ‘Reforms agenda’.
i. Index has measured Banks on 140 objective metrics across 6 themes including customer responsiveness, credit off-take and digitalization.
ii. The EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) report has shown significant enhancement in PSB performance on the back of Government’s 4R’s strategy- recognition, recovery, recapitalisation and reforms.
iii. PNB which topped the list with a score of 78.4 out of 100 in the EASE-index was followed by BoB (77.8), SBI (74.6), Oriental Bank of Commerce (69).
iv. The PSB banks have recovered Rs 98493 crore in first nine months of FY19.
v. The Government has infused Rs 3.19 lakh crores in PSB to strengthened their balance sheet and five banks have come out of PCA (Prompt Corrective action) restrictions.
Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs – Arun Jaitley
About Punjab National Bank
♦ CEO- Sunil Mehta
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi
ICICI Lombard partnered with ATL to provide insurance cover to its lenders and borrowers
On 25th February 2019, A private sector non-life insurance company in India ICICI Lombard has entered into a strategic partnership with Hyderabad based peer-to-peer lending platform AnyTimeLoan.in (ATL) to provide insurance cover for its lenders and borrowers.
i. ICICI Lombard will offer Group Secure Mind and Group Personal Accident policies to the customers of ATL which will cover the borrowers of all types of loans on the platform with policy term of 1 to 3 years.
ii. There will be insurance cover for the lenders which will come with free premium for the first year on a complimentary basis. On behalf of the beneficiaries ATL will absorb this cost.
iii. The partnership with reduce the risk of exposure of its lenders and borrowers which are arising from uncertainties such as accidents, death, disability, critical illness, loss of job among others.
About ICICI Lombard
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ CEO- Bhargav Dasgupta
Commemorative notes to be released to mark Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
On 27th February 2019, a UAE based company will release 12 bank notes of zero value which is the first ever limited edition commemorative series to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
i. Dubai based Indian artist Akbar Saheb has designed these special notes. He was the main illustrator for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
ii. As a tribute to Gandhi, each note will feature memorable incidents from his personal and political life. The initiative will bring Mahatma Gandhi back to life using incidents that are more than just history lessons.
iii. It will be a 12 part series. The first 2 notes with just 5000 pieces to be printed in each design will go on sale at selected outlets globally and online while the rest will be released in different phases till October 2.
iv. Out of the first 2 notes released, the first note shows the ‘Promise to Mother’ in 1880 made by Gandhi to his mother and the second note features the historic incident of 1893 when the young lawyer Gandhi was thrown off from a ‘Whites only’ compartment of a train at Pietermaritzburg railway station in South Africa.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
An overview of National Water Awards 2018
On 27th February 2019, The Union Minister for Water Resources, River development and rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari presented 82 National Water Awards in 14 categories for the year 2018 at a ceremony held in New Delhi.
i. The department of geology at Kakatiya University, Warangal Telangana received the best campus in India in terms of water usage. Punjab University secured 2nd position in the category.
ii. Madurai district received first prize for rejuvenations and creating new water bodies in the National Water Awards 2018.
iii. In best state category Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh bagged first, second and third prizes for resource management in India respectively.
iv. The objective of the awards is to bring the best efforts in water conservation and encourage all stake holders, Including NGOs, gram panchayats, Urban local bodies, water user Associations, institutions, corporate sector and individuals to manage their water resources efficiently.
‘Sarvashreshtha Suraksha Puraskar’ is awarded by Parijat Industries by NSCI
Parijat Industries, an agrochemical firm has conferred the prestigious ‘Sarvashreshtha Suraksha Puraskar’ (Bronze trophy) by National Safety Council of India (NSCI) for the year 2018. Ministry of Labour and Employment presented this award.
i. This safety award has been conferred upon Parijat Industries for the 3rd time by NSCI.
ii. This award is claimed by Parijat Industries for its compatible and meritorious operational safety at its Parijat’s manufacturing plant at Ambala in Haryana.
First Indian-origin WWII spy, Noor Inayat, to get Blue Plaque in UK
British Indian World War II spy, Noor Inayat Khan, confirmed as the first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque at 4 Taviton Street in Bloomsbury, London (her former home).
i. She was the daughter of Indian Sufi saint Hazrat Inayat Khan and an agent for Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II. She was captured and killed by the Nazis in 1944 at the age of 30 years.
ii. The Blue Plaque scheme run by English Heritage honours notable people who lived or worked in particular buildings across London.
Mukesh Ambani becomes first Indian to join top 10 richest list of Hurun Research
Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani became the first Indian and the only Asian to enter the Global top 10 richest billionaire list compiled by Hurun Research, China after a USD 9 billion or 20% surge in his wealth to USD 54 billion.
i. India is at 5th spot with 104 billionaires. Last year, the country had added 32 billionaires, but this year it lost 28.
ii. Mumbai and New Delhi are the billionaire capitals of the country.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India’s first indigenous 4G/5G semiconductor chips unveiled by SIGNALCHIP
Bengaluru based semiconductor company “SIGNALCHIP” unveiled India’s first Indigenous Semiconductor Chips for 4G/LTE and 5G NR MODEMs at an event in New Delhi which was addressed by the Secretary, Telecom, Mrs Aruna Sundararajan.
i. She acknowledged the need for India to manufacture its own chips as Data Security is a huge concern in today’s world and informed that currently only 8 companies and few countries in the world can do the task, which makes the launch of Indigenous Chip a real sense “Make in India” for the World.
ii. The following 4 chips were launched by the SIGNALCHIP as part of its SCBM34XX and SCRF34XX/45XX series, code-named ‘Agumbe’:
- SCBM3412: a single chip 4G/LTE modem including the baseband and transceiver sections in a single device
- SCBM3404: a single chip 4X4 LTE baseband modem
- SCRF3402: a 2X2 transceiver for LTE
- SCRF4502: a 2X2 transceiver for 5G NR standards
iii. The Radio Frequency (RF) sections cover all LTE/5G-NR bands up to 6GHz and they also support positioning using India’s own satellite navigation system, NAVIC.
iv. The Agumbe series builds up on SCRF1401, India’s first RF transceiver chip for high performance wireless standards like 3G/4G and WiFi, created by Signalchip in 2015.
v. The combined multi-standard system-on-chip (SoC) are optimally designed to support evolving network architectures like Open RAN/CRAN with flexible interface configurations.
♦ Founder and CEO – Himanshu Khasnis
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru
Methane Hydrate Discovered in K-G Basin off Andhra Pradesh Coast
Researchers have discovered “methane hydrates“, a potential fuel of the future just two meters below the sea-floor in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in the Bay of Bengal.
i. A team of scientists from the National Institute of Geography in Goa and the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad have reported the discovery in the Journal of Earth System Science, published by the Indian Academy of Sciences.
ii. This is the first report on the discovery of an active methane seepage site. The occurrence of shallow methane hydrate deposits in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) opens up the possibilities of using a new and still untapped reservoir of fossil fuel, as methane hydrate contains large quantity of methane, the main component of natural gas.
‘Banglar Shiksha’ web portal launched by West Bengal Government
On 26th February 2019, West Bengal Education Minister, Partha Chatterjee unveiled a web portal, “Banglar Shiksha“ (banglarshiksha.gov.in), to provide real-time data on state-run and aided schools.
i. This Web portal will store real-time data of 1.5 crore students, 5 lakh teachers and 1 lakh schools and will also address many issues like attendance of students and teachers.
ii. This portal is first of its kind in the country and it should come into commencement by May, 2019.
About West Bengal
♦ Capital- Kolkata
♦ CM- Mamata Banerjee
♦ Governor- K.N. Tripathi
♦ National Parks (NP): Gorumara NP, Jaldapara NP and Sunderbans NP
Chris Gayle reached 10,000 ODI runs and became 1st batsman in the world to hit 500 sixes
West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle became the first player in the world to hit 500 sixes the 14th batsman and second from the Caribbean after Brian Lara, to reach the milestone of 10,000 ODI runs, after scoring 162 off 97 balls against England in the fourth ODI at the National Cricket Stadium in St George’s, Grenada.
i. He had announced on 17 February 2019 that he will retire from One-Day International cricket after this 2019’s World Cup in England and Wales.
ISSF World Cup 2019
International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup was held in New Delhi, India from 20 February to 28 February 2019. It is the annual edition of the ISSF World Cup which is governed by International Shooting Sport Federation. It is a qualifier for 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan. India ranked 1st in the World Cup along with Hungary.
Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary won gold in 10m Air Pistol Mixed Category
Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker claimed gold medal in 10m Air Pistol Mixed team event on ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
i. The duo finished top in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Final with 483.4 points on the final day of the World Cup.
ii. Both of them had earlier equaled Qualification World Record and also set a new qualification world record junior by shooting 778 points.
Saurabh Chaudhary won gold in 10m Air Pistol
Saurabh Chaudhary finished top of the 10m Air Pistol category and brought an Olympic quota for Tokyo 2020 in the category.
i.He secured Olympic Quota with a world record score of 245.0 after some phenomenal shooting.
ii.He is the 1st Indian shooter to win gold at the youth Olympic, Asian Games, Junior ISSF World Championship and Asian Air gun championship
Apurvi Chandela bags gold in women’s 10m Air Rifle
Indian shooter won women’s 10m Air Rifle and bagged India’s first gold medal by breaking the world record in the Shooting World Cup 2019. She was the only Indian shooter to qualify for the final round.
i. Apurvi secured a total score of 252.9 to finish on the top of podium in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event. She was at the fourth spot in the qualification round.
ii. Apurvi Chandela had won a bronze medal along shooter Ravi Kumar in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia in the 10m Mixed Rifle event.
Retirement from Club Football announced by Mehtab Hossain
Former Kerala Blasters Football Club (FC) and Jamshedpur FC player Mehtab Hossain has announced his retirement from professional football.
i. He currently plays for Mohun Bagan in the Hero I-League and revealed his decision on the eve of the team’s final home fixture against Indian Arrows.
ii. He represented Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL) for the first three seasons before playing for Jamshedpur FC during the last season.
National Science Day observed on 28th February
The National Science Day is observed annually to mark the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect‘ by the physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman, well-known as CV Raman. He was born on 7th November 1888 in Tamil Nadu.
i. He gave the theory of Raman Effect for which he won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1930 and became the first Indian and the first Asian to win the prestigious award. He was also awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954 for his contribution in science, particularly Physics.
ii. The theme for this year’s National Science Day is ‘Science for the People and the People for Science’.
iii. In 1986, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) asked the Central Government to celebrate February 28 as National Science Day. It was first celebrated on February 28, 1987.
iv. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the award ceremony and conferred Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) prizes for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 in New Delhi today.
v. The SSB Prize for Science and Technology was instituted in the year 1957,in the memory of late Dr (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the founder director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR).
vi. It is awarded each year on the basis of conspicuously important and outstanding contributions to human knowledge and progress, made through work done primarily in India during the five years, preceding the year of the prize.
vii. It comprises of a citation, a cash award of Rs 5 Lakh and a plaque given to each person selected for the award. 11 scientists were given the award for the year 2016, 10 for 2017 and 13 for 2018.
Maharashtra’s interim budget for 2019-20 with Rs 19,784 cr estimated revenue deficit presented by FM Sudhir Mungantiwar
Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar presented the interim budget for the fiscal 2019-20 with an estimated deficit of Rs 19,784 crore and a provision of special fund for farm loan waiver at the State Assembly in Mumbai.
i. The revenue receipts are expected at Rs 314,489 crore against an estimated revenue expenditure of Rs 334,273 crore.
ii. The state’s annual plan outlay has been fixed at Rs 99,000 crore for implementing various schemes and the government would attempt to rein in deficits by scrapping unnecessary expenses and effectively augmenting revenues.
iii. The Government has made maximum allocation of Rs 8733 crore for irrigation, with a focus on Vidarbha and Marathwada.
iv. Some of the major provisions include Rs 90 crore for a skill development programme in the memory of late Union Minister Pramod Mahajan, Rs 8,431 crore towards a tribal sub-plan and Rs 9,000 crore for district annual plans.
v. The Maharashtra Government will table the full budget after 4 months.
♦ Capital – Mumbai
♦ Chief Minister – Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Governor – C. Vidyasagar Rao
Nagpur hosted Heat Wave 2019 Workshop
Maharashtra government with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has conducted a two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave in Nagpur.This was the third annual workshop conducted by NDMA to build a momentum ahead of the start of the Heat Wave season.
i. The main motive behind this workshop was to aim to sensitize state to the need of preparing and implementing specific Heat Action Plans in line with NDMA’s national guidelines on Heat Wave.
ii. This workshop focused on mid and long-term mitigation solutions to identify new islands of heat wave and to find local remedies for local problems.
♦ Capital – Mumbai
♦ CM- Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Governor – C. Vidyasagar Rao.