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Current Affairs March 8 2019

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Current Affairs March 8 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet approves on March 7, 2019

  • Cabinet approves scheme to rebate embedded taxes
  • Cabinet approves surrendering of AAI encroached land to MP government
  • Creation of post of Technical Members in SAT, Mumbai approved by the Cabinet
  • Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage Mission approved by Cabinet
  • Proposal for reservation in Teachers Cadre Ordinance 2019 approved by Cabinet
  • Cabinet nods ECHS facilities to veterans, pre-mature retirees
  • Cabinet approved ‘FMBAP’ for Flood Management Works in entire country
  • Cabinet approves continuation of National AIDS Control Programme IV<
  • Cabinet approves the 3rd railway line between Narayangarh and Bhadrak on SER
  • Implementation of 1320MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Project in UP got cabinets approval
  • Investment approval for 1320MW Buxar Thermal Power Project in Bihar got Cabinet approval
  • Teesta Stage-VI HE Project in Sikkim received Cabinet nod
  • Kiru Hydroelectric Project in Jammu and Kashmir got Cabinet approval
  • Cabinet approves GoM recommendations on Stressed Power Plants
  • Cabinet approves Rs.2790cr financial assistance to sugar mills
  • Rs.4500 crore to revive ‘un-served, under-served’ airports approved by Cabinet……………………….Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approval with Foreign Countries on March 7, 2019

  • MoU between India and UK on Cancer Research Initiative
  • MoU between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health
  • MoU between India and Austria on Technology Cooperation in the Road Infrastructure Sector
  • Agreement between India and Belarus on MLAT in Civil and Commercial Matters
  • Cabinet approved Amendment to Article 3 of the Agreement between India and Bhutan
  • MoU between UPSC and CSCM to strengthen relations approved by Union Cabinet………………………..Click here to Read more

Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
Prime Minister Narendra  Modi visited Kalaburagi in Karnataka and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu where he launched various development projects.

  • The Prime Minister dedicated the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital and Medical CollegeBengaluru to the nation, through the unveiling of the plaque.
  • He dedicated the 5 MMTPA capacity Ennore LNG Terminal to the nation. The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal will help in meeting the LNG demand in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states…………………………Click here to Read more

A series of visually impaired friendly Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20 coins unveiled by PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new series of visually impaired friendly coins of in the denominations of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 at an event held in New Delhi where visually impaired children were specially invited. All the new series coins will be issued for circulation only through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in terms of the RBI Act. The exact date of issuance of new series coins is yet to be announced.Rs 20 coins unveiled by PM ModiIndia’s first 20 rupee coin features:
The new 20 rupee coin isn’t in a circular shape unless every other new series of coins released today. New Rs 20 coin is in polygon shape of 12 edges with a design of grains denoting the agricultural dominance of the country.
ii. The outer ring the new 20 rupee coin is made up of nickel silver and the central piece is made of nickel brass. The outside diameter of the new Rs 20 coin is 2.7 centimetres and the weight of the new Rs 20 coin is about 8.54 grams.
iii. The ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar’ is minted on the face of new 20 rupee coin with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ inscribed below it and, while, the denomination value of 20 is minted in international numerals along with the Indian Rupee symbol on the reverse side of the new 20 rupee coin.
iv. ‘Bharat’ in Hindi and ‘India’ in English is minted on the left and right periphery on the face of new Rs 20 coin and the year of minting is inscribed on the centre of left periphery of the new 20 rupee coin in international numerals, such as ‘2019’.
v..The coins are designed by the National Institute of Design and minted at state-owned mints at MumbaiAlipore (Kolkata),Saifabad (Hyderabad), Cherlapally (Hyderabad) and Noida (U.P.).

IRDAI, NHA form a working group chaired by Dinesh Arora to curb fraud in Ayushman Bharat scheme
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a joint working group (JWG) in order to suggest ways for more effective implementation of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

IRDAI, NHA form a working group chaired by Dinesh Arora to curb fraud in Ayushman Bharat schemeKey Points:
i. The group would comprise of 11 members.
ii. It will be headed by Dinesh Arora, Deputy CEO of NHA and co-headed by Suresh Mathur, Executive Director of IRDAI.
iii. The group shall prepare a report on management of hospitals under the scheme, data management and exchange, development of IT infrastructure for claims.
iv. 12 months will be given to submit a report on a national repository of empanelled hospitals under insurance/government schemes. with defined standards for quality and package rates and codes.
v. The group will get 3 months to submit a report on data standardisation and exchange.
vi. In 6 months it would have to make recommendations to detect and avoid frauds by building a common repository and through capacity-building.

MoU was signed between Labour Ministry and SIMTARS, Australia for Occupational Safety
On 7th March 2019, Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS), Australia for cooperation in occupational safety.

MoU was signed between Labour Ministry and SIMTARS, AustraliaKey Points
i. The MoU was signed between Shri Utpal Singh on behalf of Ministry of Labour and Employment and Shri Gitesh Agrawal on behalf of SIMTARS, Australia.
ii. MoU was aimed at exploring new opportunities in the area of occupational safety, health and welfare of persons engaged in mining operations.
iii. Nowadays the availability of minerals has become difficult and miners have to go deeper, due to which new technologies are required for the safety of workers.

French Space Agency CNES and ISRO signed maritime surveillance agreement
The president of French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales), Jean-Yves Le Gall and K Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed an agreement in Bengaluru, to implement the short-term plan for the French-Indian programme to develop a space-based maritime surveillance system.

i. The CNES-ISRO agreement, intended to supply an operational system for detecting, identifying and tracking ships in the Indian Ocean, provides for a maritime surveillance centre to be set up in India in May 2019.
About France
♦ Capital – France
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ President – Emmanuel Macron
About ISRO
♦ Chairman – K Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

Mamata Banerjee launched Yuvashree Arpan scheme for financially assisting young entrepreneurs
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a new scheme called Yuvashree Plan II or Yuvashree Arpan under which 50,000 youths will receive financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh for setting up an their own business initiatives.

Mamata Banerjee launched Yuvashree Arpan schemei. Youngsters passing out of Industrial training institute (ITI) or other polytechnic institute will be eligible to get financial support from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) department.
ii. The Chief Minister on this occasion also laid foundation stone of various developmental projects including the first Hindi university in West Bengal in AruparaHowrah district and Rs 1,488 crore drinking water project at Purba Medinipur that will benefit more than 12 lakh people.
iii. Foundation stone of projects worth Rs 1,071 crore including drinking water project that would benefit more than 8 lakh people inaugurated Bankura.
iv. She announced that the Health and Family Welfare department office would be set up on three acre land beside Nabanna.
v. She also inaugurated nearly 217 projects worth more than Rs 1,300 crore at the programme.


Credit info co. CRIF Highmark ties up with CreditVidya for first-time borrowers
A credit firm CRIF Highmark has collaborated with CreditVidya– data analytics firm, to enable lenders to provide credit to new borrowers or those who are underserved.
i. The collaborated-entity aims combine the past data of the customer with additional data from the other digital sources to prepare a credit report on the basis of which lenders can decide whom to lend.
ii. CRIF Highmark holds 1.6 billion records spanning over the entire Indian borrowing segment. The first-time borrower segment is estimated by CreditVidya at around 350 million.

Bancassurance deal signed between United Bank of India and HDFC Life
United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with HDFC Life.

United Bank of India_ HDFC LifeKey Points:
i. United Bank of India aims to provide the facilities of life insurance products to its customers through HDFC Life.
ii. This is the third PSU bank tie-up this year for HDFC Life.
iii. They aim to utilise each other’s customer base to spread their mutual business.


OECD cuts global growth forecast to 3.3% in 2019
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD) has cut the forecasts for the global economy in 2019 and 2020, owing to trade disputes and uncertainty over Brexit that would largely affect the world commerce and businesses.
Key Points:
i. The interim outlook report by OECD predicts the growth rate of 3.3% for 2019 and 3.4% for 2020, which is 0.2% and 0.1% lesser respectively as compared to the November 2018 forecasts.

Import of Solid Plastic Waste banned by India
The government has put a complete ban on import of solid plastic waste/scrap into the country.
Key Points:
i. Import of plastic was earlier partly banned as it was prohibited in special economic zones (SEZ) but allowed by Export-Oriented units (EOUs) who would obtain it from other countries in the form of post-recycling resources
ii. This complete prohibition has been done by amendment of Hazardous Waste (Management & Trans-boundary Movement) Rules on March 1.
iii. The rule is a part of India’s aim to completely phase out single-use plastic by 2022.
iv. A study by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) states that 10,376 tonnes (40%) out of the 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste per day remains uncollected in the country.
v. White category industries are now required to give their polluting wastes to authorised users, waste collectors or disposal facilities. White category industries are the ones that are either non or very less polluting ones and comprises of 36 industrial sectors like air-coolers, air-conditioners, biscuit making, metal caps, handloom and chalk-making etc.
vi. Exporters of silk waste no longer need to seek permission from the ministry.
vii. Defective electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India can now be imported back into the country within a year of export, without obtaining permission from the Environment Ministry.


Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport wins ASQ award
The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar won the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award for being the best airport in size and region (2-5 million passengers in Asia-Pacific) for the year 2018.

Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport wins ASQ awardi. It has been chosen for the award by the Airports Council International.
ii. Chandigarh Airport, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore, SM Badaruddin II Airport in Indonesia, SS Kasim II Airport in Indonesia and Yichang Sanxia Airport in China were also chosen for the award.
iii. The award is given on the basis of independent survey among passengers on the parameters of security, safety, experience, ambience, ease of availability and cleanliness.
About Odisha
♦ Capital – Bhubaneswar
♦ Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor – Ganeshi Lal


Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Chief Scientist at WHO
Soumya Swaminathan who is currently a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been appointed as the Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Chief Scientist at WHOKey Points:
i. She used to be one of the 3 Deputy Director-General assisting Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
ii. The Chief Scientist is a newly created position and division.
iii. This new division is the Department of Digital Health, in the Division of the Chief Scientist. She will oversee the digital work and help the department in assessing digital technologies, and help countries in deciding as to how to to prioritise, integrate and regulate them.

Ajit Kumar Mohanty appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
On 6th March 2019, Ajit Kumar Mohanty, a distinguished scientist was appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) by the Ministry of Personnel for a period of three years.
i. Currently, he holds the position of Director of Physics Group, BARC and Director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.
ii. He will succeed KN Vyas, who took over the charge of Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission in Sept 2018.

Centre has named Ausaf Sayeed as the new Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia
The present High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed has been appointed as the next ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia by the Ministry of External Affairs.
i. He has been appointed in the place of Ahmad Javed, who had been the envoy to Saudi Arabia since December 2015.
ii. He is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1989 batch.
iii. He had earlier held the positions of Ambassador to Yemen and Consul General of India in Chicago and Jeddah.

Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns from his post
On 8th March 2019, the Governor of Mizoram, Kummanam Rajasekharan has resigned from his post and might be fielded as the BJP candidate from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency. His resignation has been accepted by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
The Governor of AssamJagdish Mukhi has been appointed in his place temporarily.
About Kummanam Rajasekharan
i. He was the former BJP State president of Kerala.
ii. He took charge as the Governor of Mizoram in May 2018.
About Mizoram
♦ Capital-Aizawl


e-Dharti App was launched by Hardeep S Puri
On 7th March 2019, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs launched e-Dharti App to make all the three modules – Conversion, Substitution and Mutation online.
Key Points
i. e-Dharti GeoPortal was also launched by Hardeep Puri to allow the lessee of the property to see the basic details of property along with its location on map.
ii. Government will be able to know the actual status of its vacant properties through the App.
iii. The Payment system in Land and Development Office (L&DO) has been digitized and now, public can submit their application online through L&DO website.

PM-STIAC (Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council) announces nine missions of national importance
9 missions of national importance have been unveiled by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PMSTIAC). These missions cover important fields such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, electric vehicles and deep ocean exploration.
Key Points:
i. PMSTIAC was constituted in October 2018. The head of the council is Vijay Raghavan and other members are- NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat, former ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar, Field Medal-winning mathematician Manjul Bhargava and Indian National Science Academy President Ajay Kumar Sood.
ii. The Nine Missions are :

  • Natural Language Translation
  • Quantum Frontier
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • National Biodiversity Mission
  • Electric Vehicles
  • BioScience for Human Health
  • Waste to Wealth
  • Deep Ocean Exploration
  • AGNIi

iii.Other major projects of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser:

A study reveals that India’s measles vaccine campaigns have helped save thousands of children
A study, published in eLife states that the measles vaccine campaigns have helped in saving 41,000-56,000 children in India which amounts to 39-57 per cent of the expected number of deaths nationally in the period between 2010 to 2013.
Key Points:
i. The death rate in children in the age group of 1-59 months fell by 27% in the states where the campaign has been implemented as compared to just 11% fall in non-campaign states.
ii. India comes last in the list of countries which adopted two doses of the measles vaccine as part of national immunisation programmes.
iii. The second-dose measles vaccines was implemented along with mass immunisation in 2010.
iv. The campaign was found to be more successful in case of girls than boys, with the mortality rates declining more for in their case during the 3-year period.


16-year-old P. Iniyan became 61st Chess Grandmaster of India
16-year-old Iniyan Panneerselvam from Erode, Tamil Nadu, won at the Noisiel Open in France by defeating GM (Grand Master) Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine in the sixth round and became the 61st Grandmaster for India crossing 2500 points in ELO ratings.

P. Iniyan became 61st Chess Grandmaster of Indiai. India’s first Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand congratulated him on his achievement via Twitter.


Kenyan athelete, Daniel Rudisha passed away at the age of 73
Daniel Rudisha, a former teacher who became a Kenyan athletics coach died following a cardiac arrest in Nakuru, Northwest of Nairobi on 6th March 2019.He was born in Kilgoris, Kenya.

Kenyan athelete, Daniel Rudisha passed awayHe was a member of Silver medal winning quartet of Kenya at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

Former Puducherry LG Virendra Kataria died aged 88
The 21st Lt Governor of Puducherry and former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief,  Virendra Kataria, passed away at the age of 88 years.
i. He belonged from Abohar, Punjab and is survived by his son and a daughter.
ii. Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi condoled his death and paid her respects.
About Puducherry
♦ Chief minister – V. Narayanasamy
♦ Governor – Kiran Bedi


March 8 observed as International Women’s Day
The International Women’s Day was observed on 8th March 2019. The theme for this year is Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.

International Women’s Dayi. On this occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed the Women and Child Development Ministry(WCD) and the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry, which aims to impart skill-training and employment to women.
ii. The WCD Ministry will involve RMK (Rashtriya Mahila Kosh) to get majority of women to join the Mahila e haat- a digital platform for selling products that are made by women.
iii. The MoU shall be valid for 3 years and will be jointly implemented by Rashtriya Mahila Kosh and the National Skill Development Council .
iv. Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 was presented by President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi to 41 women achievers.
v. The One Stop Centre (OSC) award conferred upon Uttar Pradesh Minister for Women and Child Welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi for OSC, Lucknow.


Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana” launched by Uttarakhand CM for anganwadi children
On 7th March 2019, Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana was launched in Dehradun by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
i. The scheme aims to provide 100 ml milk twice a week, free of cost, to 2.5 lakh children at 20,000 Anganwadi kendras of Uttarakhand.
ii. Flavoured, sweet, skimmed milk powder will be provided to these children.