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India extends Rs. 35.5 million financial grant to Nepal
India extended a financial grant of 35.5 million Nepalese rupees to Nepal for the construction of an educational campus to boost the learning environment of the students. The educational campus was jointly inaugurated by District Coordination Committee and Campus management committee on 22nd March 2019.
i. It was made under the Development Partnership Programme which is administered by the Development Administration Partnership division of the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. The building was constructed at Siddheshwar Education Public Campus in Ramechhap district. It consists of 12 class rooms, meeting hall, laboratory room and a library.
iii. It will enhance the poor, needy and the marginalized students’ access to education in the district and the nearby areas.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee
♦ President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
Delhi IGI Airport becomes the 12th busiest in the world as per ACI report
In accordance with the preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018 released by Airports Council International (ACI), the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) of New Delhi has elevated 4 ranks to reach at 12th spot in terms of busiest airport as compared to 2017’s 16 spot.
i. The list of world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic ranking has been topped by Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (US) followed by Beijing Capital International Airport (China) and Dubai International Airport (UAE).
ii. In 2018, India has followed US and China to become the world’s third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Government outreached divestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for 2018-19
On 23rd March 2019, Government outreached its disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for the current financial year (2018-19) by Rs 5,000 crore.
i. The disinvestment target has been fixed at Rs 90,000 crore for the next financial year (i.e. FY 2020).
ii. This is the second time in a row that Government has been able to hit the target.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
India’s first forest certification scheme SFM gets global recognition
On 22nd March 2019, the forest certification scheme ‘Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)’ developed by the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forest (NCCF) got global recognition by a Geneva based non-profit firm Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
i. Forest certification is a market based conservation tool which is designed to promote sustainable management of trees outside forest by an independent third party.
ii. The Government has emphasized the importance of buying products made from certified wood for promoting sustainable forest management under the Green Good Deeds Movement.
iii.Sustainable Forest Management Certificates become mandatory for exports as several developed countries have put trade restrictions on import of non-timber forest products, non-certified timber and wood based goods into their countries.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
♦ Union Minister: Harsh Vardhan
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh designated as the Western Fleet Commander
Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh, NM took over as the Western Fleet Commander, the “Sword Arm” of the Indian Navy. He will succeed Rear Admiral MA Hampiholi, AVSM, NM who has been appointed as Director General Naval Operations in the rank of Vice Admiral.
i. Initiated his career in 1986, the Navigation and Direction specialist, Sanjay Jasjit Singh is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla.
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to be designated as Next Chief of Naval Staff
On 23rd March 2019, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed as the next (24th) chief of naval staff(CNS). He will succeed present Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba who will retire on May 2019.
i. He will be the first helicopter pilot of the Navy to become CNS.At present, he is a Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
ii. He is from Jalandhar in Punjab. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980 and after two years he earned his wings as a helicopter pilot.
iii. During his 39 years of service, he has flying experience of the HAL Chetak and Kamov Ka-25 helicopters and commanded numerous ships including ICGS Chand Bibi, INS Vijaydurg, INS Rana and INS Delhi.
iv. He has been honored with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).
AIBA President Gafur Rahimov resigned
On 22nd March 2019, the Amateur International Boxing Federation (AIBA) President Gafur Rahimov announced his resignation claiming that political based discussions were harming the organizations progress.
i. Gafur Rahimov was elected as the President of AIBA four months ago.
ii. Rahimov will be replaced by an interim president. The debt of AIBA is $15.6 million for this year when compared to $18 million in last year.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IIT Madras partnered with ESPNcricinfo to launch ‘Superstats’ to analyse cricket statistics
On 20th March 2019, Indian Institute of Technology Madras has partnered with ESPNcricinfo to launch Superstats which is a next level artificial intelligence to analyse cricket statistics through machine learning and forecast. Superstats is developed by a team headed by the IIT Madras research scholars Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Mahesh Panchagnula along with the ESPN team.
i. It will analyse cricket using data science for the first time, give context to every event in a game and also venture new territories such as forecasting and luck.
ii. It also reveals the trends and patterns during a game as the actual match data spread on real time. It has combined big data, cricket intelligence and data science to produce a set of numbers which will help the fans to understand and appreciate the game better.
Microsoft able to translate digital information into DNA
On 22nd March 2018, Microsoft developed a storage device in partnership with the University of Washington that can translate digital information into DNA.
i. The software used in the system converts the 1’s and 0’s of digital data into DNA sequence (A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s) and stored it as a liquid.
ii. The device converted the word ‘Hello’ into DNA which took 21 hours.
About Microsoft Corporation
♦ CEO: Satya Nadella
♦ Founded: 4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
♦ Headquarters:Redmond, Washington, United States
♦ Founders:Bill Gates, Paul Allen
Saina Nehwal named as TSJA sports person of the year
On 20th March 2019,Telangana Sports Journalist Association (TSJA) named London Olympics Bronze medalist Saina Nehwal as sportsperson of the year, Pullella Gopichand as Coach of the Year and PV Sindhu as Outstanding Performer in women’s section. Badminton Association of Telangana received Association of the Year award at the Annual Telangana Sports Journalist Association Awards 2018 held at Hyderabad.
i. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) named for its outstanding contribution to sports while Arjun Erigaisi named as the most promising player at the same event.
ii.Indian badminton team was conferred with “team of the year”.
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga announced his retirement from international cricket after T20 World Cup 2020
The 35 years old, limited over’s captain of Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga, is all set to be retired from international cricket after ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, to be held in Australia over October-November 2020.
i. He would also quit one-day internationals after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
ii. He made his ODI debut in 2004, becoming the first to clinch two World Cup hat-tricks and the first to take three ODI hat-tricks.
iii. He is also the only bowler to take four wickets in four consecutive balls.
Karnataka cabinet minister C.S.Shivalli died at the age of 57
On March 22, Karnataka Minister for Municipal Administration and senior Congress Leader, Channabasappa Sathyappa Shivalli aka “Badavara Bandhu” passed away at the age of 57 due to cardiac arrest, in Hubballi.
i. He was born in Yaraguppi village of Karnataka.
ii. He was a three-time MLA from Kundagol constituency in Dharwad district.
Kannada actress L V Sharada Rao passed away at aged 78 years
On 23rd March 2019, Veteran Kannada actress L V Sharada Rao passed away in Bengaluru at the age of 78 years after fighting a prolonged battle with breast cancer.
i.She was well known for her performance in the movie ‘Vamsha Vriksha’, which was based on S L Bhyrappa’s novel. She was also acted in other popular films like ‘Ghaniyamma’, ‘Boothayyana Maga Ayyu’, ‘Adi Shankaracharya’.
World Meteorological Day observed on March 23
World Meteorological Day is observed annually on March 23 to commemorate the establishment of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1950. The day also underlines the efforts of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services for the safety and well-being of society.
i. The theme 2019 was “The Sun, the Earth and the Weather”.
ii. The day was first observed in 1961.
About World Meteorological Organization
♦ Head – David Grimes
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Parent organization: United Nations Economic and Social Council
88th Martyrs’ Day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Shivaram Observed on 23rd March
Martyr’s Day (88th) or Shaheed Diwas observed on 23rd March every year in India to commemorate the death anniversary of three of India’s freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Hari Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar.
i. On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the three freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country.
ii. On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru were hanged by the British Government for killing British police officer John Saunders.
iii. They mistook John for Superintendent James Scott who injured Lala Lajpat Rai during a protest against Simon Commission.