Current Affairs March 27 2019

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Current Affairs March 27 2019

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Cabinet Apprised about various MoUs signed with Foreign Countries

  • MoU between India and Morocco for cooperation on youth affairs
  • MoU between India and Morocco to promote exchange of information and technical cooperation
  • MoU on Antarctic Cooperation between India and Argentine
  • MoU between India and Saudi Arabia for Cooperation in the field of Housing
  • MoU between India and Republic of Korea for startup cooperation
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Indonesia on Combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and its precursors…………………………………Click here to Read more

ISRO launches Young Scientist Programme for schoolkids
On the lines of Centre Govt mission “Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has initiated Young Scientist Programme named “YUva VIgyani KAryakram” – (Yuvika) for school children with a purpose to enhance their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities by imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications. This two week long programme is regarded as “Catch them young”.
Features of Yuvika:
i. The programme will be of two weeks duration during summer holidays (second half of May 2019) and is scheduled to be held at 4 centers of ISRO.
ii. Students of 9th standard (in the academic year 2018-19) and waiting to join 10th Std (or just joined 10th Std) are eligible for the online registration from 25 March 2019 (1800 hrs) to 03 April 2019 (1800 hrs).
iii. The selection is based on the 8th Standard academic performance and extracurricular activities.
iv. The expenses of the selected students during the entire course will be borne by ISRO.
About ISRO
♦ Establishment – 1969
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru
♦ Director – Kailasavadivoo Sivan

Creation of additional posts of 3 Judicial Members and 3 Technical Members in the NCLAT approved by the Cabinet
On 27th March 2019, Union Cabinet approved the creation of additional posts of three Judicial Members and three Technical Members in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

National Company Law Appellate TribunalKey Points
i. It will ensure the time frame for disposal of cases and will also meet the mandate provided to NCLAT by the Finance Act, 2017, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code(IBC), 2016 and the Companies Act 2013.
ii.The additional posts will be created in Level 17 which is equal to Rs 2,25,000 as fixed plus allowances as admissible. The total financial involvement will be Rs 2,27,82,096.
iii.The tribunal hears appeals against rulings of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

BANKING & FINANCE

ICICI Prudential Bharat Consumption Scheme was launched by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund
on 26th March 2019, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund launched ICICI Prudential Bharat Consumption Scheme to get advantage from the Indian consumption market, which is considered as one of the fastest growing consumption markets globally.
Key Points:
i. Nifty India Consumption Index is the benchmark for the Scheme.
ii. It will be managed by Rajat Chandak,  Dharmesh Kakkad and Priyanka Khandelwal will manage the overseas investments.
iii. The offer will open on 26th March and close on 9th April 2019.
iv. Features of this scheme are:

  • Minimum investment of this scheme is Rs 5,000 and in multiples of one rupee thereafter.
  • Penalty for leaving the scheme is 1 percent if investments are redeemed within 12 months from the date of allotment.

About ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund
♦ CEO:Nimesh Shah
♦ Founded1993
♦ Headquarters:Mumbai

Bank of Baroda inked MoU with 6 firms to develop “Baroda Kisan”
Bank of Baroda has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with six firms namely Skymet Weather Services, Weather Risk Management Services, BigHaat, Agrostar India, EM3 Agri Services and Poorti Agri Services to develop “Baroda Kisan”. It will provide solutions for all major agricultural requirements through its holistic approach.

Bank-of-Barodai. The execution of the platform will be done by IT Centre of Excellence (ITCoE) of Bank of Baroda in partnership with IBM India.
About Bank of Baroda
♦ Establishment – 1908
♦ Headquarters – Alkapuri, Vadodara
♦ CEO – PS Jayakumar
♦ Tagline – India’s International Bank

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Energy demand of India surpassed the global growth, as per IEA
In accordance with the International Energy Agency (IEA) Global Energy & CO2 status report, India’s energy demand has surpassed the global demand growth in 2018. India’s primary demand increased 4% in 2018 in comparison to energy consumption worldwide grew by 2.3%. This accounts for 11 per cent of global demand growth.
i. The growth in India was led by coal for power generation and oil for transport.

Pact for exchange of reports to check tax evasion by MNCs signed between India and US
On 27th March 2019, India and United States signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for exchange of Country-by-Country (CbC) reports to check the tax evasions of Multinational Companies in income allocation and taxes paid.MNEs with revenue of 750 million Euros(5500 cr) or more per annum are required to file CbC reports in their parent entity’s jurisdiction.

MNCs signed between India and USKey Points
i. The Bilateral Competent Authority Arrangement for exchange of CbC reports will enable the countries to automatically exchange the reports filed by the ultimate parent entities of Multi National Enterprises (MNEs).
ii. The Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, PC Mody and US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster signed the agreement.
iii. India has been enabled with 62 jurisdictions by signing the Multilateral Component Authority Agreement (MCAA) earlier.
iv. The CbC reports requires MNCs to provide information about the name of each country where it operates, names of Subsidiaries and affiliates, performance of each Subsidiary, tax charge in accounts, detail of cost and net book value of fixed asset and gross and net assets details.
About United States
♦ Capital : Washington
♦ Currency : Dollar
♦ President : Donald Trump

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Azali Assoumani re-elected as the President of Comoros
Azali Assoumani President of ComorosOn 26th March 2019, Azali Assoumani was re-elected as the President of Comoros after defeating his closest rival, Mohamoudou Ahamada in the election held by the electoral commission of the Indian Ocean Archipelago.
i. 66 years old, Azali Assoumani who first took office in 2016, was credited with 60.77 percent votes whereas Mohamoudou Ahamada got only 14.62 percent votes.

Eight newly appointed members of Lokpal take oath of office
On 27th March 2019, eight newly appointed members of the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal has took oath of office which was administered by Lokpal Chairperson, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose.
Key Points
i. The four judicial members are former Chief Justices – Dilip B Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi.
ii. The non-judicial members are former first women chief of Sashastra Seema Bal, Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary, Dinesh Kumar Jain, former IPS officer, Mahendra Singh and ex-IAS officer, Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.
iii. Lokpal which means caretaker of people is an anti-corruption authority or body of ombudsman who represents the public interest in the Republic of India.

Rear Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, to be designated as Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area
On 26th March 2019, Rear Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar has been appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area.He will succeed Rear Admiral Puneet Kumar Bahl, VSM.
Key Points:
i. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Jan 1987 and he is an Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist.
ii. He has experience as Executive Officer of missile corvette INS Kirpan, and missile destroyer INS Mysore. He also holds his experience as command of missile corvette INS Kora, missile frigate INS Shivalik and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
iii. Also, he is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service.
About Maharashtra
♦ Capital: Mumbai
♦ Governor:  Vidyasagar Rao
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis
♦ National park: Chandoli National Park, Gugamal National Park, Nawegaon National Park, Tadoba National Park.

Veteran coach Veselin Matic to be designated as coach for Indian Men’s basketball team
Veselin Matic - Indian Men’s basketball teamOn 25th March 2019, veteran coach Veselin Matic (58) has been appointed as the national men’s basketball team coach by Basketball Federation of India.He will succeed Zoran Visic, who is currently on the charge of coach of Indian women’s basketball team.
Key Points:
i. He led Iran to their Asian Championship title in 2009 which they won after beating China and also led to their first ever World Championship qualification in 2010 .
ii. He not only coached Iran, Syria but also coached the Polish and Lebanese Basketball teams previously.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India becomes the 4th country to conduct A-SAT missile test “Mission Shakti” successfully
On 27 March 2019, India has proved its capability of defending its outer space assets after Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test “Mission Shakti” from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (earlier, Wheeler island) in Odisha. It took just 3 minute.This is India’s first successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test.

A-SAT missile test Mission Shaktii. The target was hit by the DRDO developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile, in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a “Hit to Kill” mode at a height of 300 km from the earth’s surface. The satellite used as target in the mission was one of India’s existing satellites.
ii. Mission Shakti is a joint programme of DRDO and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
iii. There are many countries which have A-SAT capability but it has been demonstrated by only 4 countries: United States, Russia, China and India.
Related Point: International law on weapons in outer space
The principal international Treaty on space is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons. India is a signatory to this treaty. So, adhering to this, this test is just a credible deterrence against threats to India’s space based assets.

Anti-intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, was successfully launched by the US Missile Defence Agency
On 26th March 2019, The US Missile Defence Agency had successfully tested an anti-intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, which was launched with a target from the Marshall Islands shot down by two interceptors based in California.
Key points:
i. The US Missile Defence Agency has developed the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to protect against the threat from ICBMs. This GMD system designed to fire an interceptor missile into space and use kinetic energy to destroy the incoming target.
ii. In 2017 North Korea became the latest entrant to the ICBM club after it tested the Hwasong-15, which is capable of reaching the whole US mainland.

To boost Electoral Process, Social-networking site Facebook launches two new tools “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted”
On 27th March 2019, Facebook launched two new tools called “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted”, specifically for Indian users to encourage civic engagement on its platform during the general elections 2019.
FacebookKey Points:
i. A new video feature “Candidate Connect” enable voters to see 20-second videos from candidates in their constituencies and the “Share You Voted” which will help people to find polling station information.
ii. The moves will help to prevent fake news and to make sure that it doesn’t impact the general election in India.
iii. These new tools are available in 12 local languages across India.
About Facebook
♦ Founded: February 4, 2004
♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, U.S.
♦ Founder: Mark Zuckerberg

SPORTS

Infosys joined hands through Roland-Garros to provide digital solution for French Open tennis tournament
On 21st March 2019, IT company Infosys joined hands through Roland-Garros with a three-year partnership agreement to provide digital solution for French Open tennis tournament, also called Roland-Garros to be held in Paris, France from May 20 to June 9.

Infosys-Roland-GarrosKey Points:
i. This agreement will enhance the game by providing fans, players and coaches with a new experience in digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, mobility, virtual and augmented reality.
About Infosys
♦ CEO: Salil Parekh
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Founded: 7 July 1981

Nikki Bella has announced her retirement from WWE
Nikki BellaThe 35 years old, American professional wrestler, Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace aka Nikki Bella has announced her retirement from WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
i. Earlier this month, her twin sister Brie also announced her retirement.
ii. In 2007, she was signed for the WWE and did her debut in November 2008.
iii. She has won the WWE Divas Championship twice.

OBITUARY

Songwriter and producer Scott Walker, passed away aged 76 
Scott WalkerOn 26th March 2019, American songwriter and producer Scott Walker passed away at the age of 76 years after fighting a prolonged battle with cancer.
i. He was born in Noel Scott Engel in Hamilton, Ohio in 1943.
ii. His real name was Noel Scott Engel.
iii. He was joined the Walker Brothers for a final album together in the 1980s and he was popularly known for the hit song “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”.

Former Australian Spinner and Coach, Bruce Yardley passed away at the age of 71
On 27th March 2019, Former Australian Spinner, Coach and commentator, Bruce Yardley died following a prolonged fight with Cancer at the age of 71.
Bruce Yardley was born on 5th September 1947 in Midland, Western Australia. He played 33 Tests and 7 ODIs for Australia as an off-spinner. He was known for his ten-wicket haul against West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1982.

Malayalam writer and poet Ashita passed away aged 63 
On 27th March 2019, veteran Malayalam writer and poet Ashita passed away at the age of 63 at a private hospital in Thrissur , Kerala after fighting a prolonged battle with cancer.

AshitaKey Points:
i. She was born on 5th April, 1956, in Thrissur, Kerala.
ii. She was awarded with the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for her story collection Ashitayude Kathakal in 2015, the prestigious Padmarajan Award – Thathagatha (2000), Lalithambika Antharjanam Award (1994) and Edaserri Award (1986).
About Kerala
♦ Capital:Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Chief Minister:Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ National Park: Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park , Pampadum Shola National Park ,
Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Theatre Day observed on 27th March
World Theatre Day is celebrated every year on 27th March by the ITI (International Theatre Institute) centres and International theatre community. It is initiated by International Theatre Institute in 1961.
Every year, various national and international theatre events are organized on this day.Also ITI selects an outstanding theatre personality to write the message for World Theatre Day. For 2019, famous theatre director, playwright, academic and faculty member, Carlos CELDRAN from Cuba was selected as the speaker of World Theatre Day message 2019.

STATE NEWS

Special Central Police Observers for States of Mizoram, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura have been appointed by Election Commission of India
On 26th March 2019, Election Commission of India has appointed Sh K K Sharma as Special Central Police Observer for the States of West Bengal and Jharkhand and Sh Mrinal Kanti Das as Special Central Police Observer for States of Tripura and Mizoram.
Key Points:
i. Sh K K Sharma, an Indian Police Service officer of 1982 batch and is a Retd DG Border Security Force.
ii. Sh Mrinal Kanti Das, an Indian Police Service officer of 1977 batch and is a Retd DGP Manipur.
iii. Both these officers were allocated to supervise the deployment and other security issues in their respective states.

Special Expenditure Observers for States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland and Telangana, have been appointed by Election Commission of India
On 26th March 2019, Election Commission of India has appointed Sh. Gopal Mukherjee as Special Expenditure Observers for the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Sh. D.D. Goel as Special Expenditure Observers for the state of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.
Key Points:
i. Sh. Gopal Mukherjee is ex- Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 1980 batch, and former Member of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
ii. Sh.D.D.Goel is ex- Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 1982 batch, and former Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation (DGIT Inv.).
iii. Both these officers will oversee and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken against the person/entities who are trying to persuade voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.
iv.Further, the Commission has decided to give additional charge of Gujarat and Karnataka to Sh. Shailendra Handa and Ms. Madhu Mahajan, respectively.Sh Handa would thus be Special Expenditure Observer for Maharashtra and Gujarat while Ms Mahajan will be deployed in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.