Weekly Current Affairs March 2018 4th Week

1. World Meteorlogical Day: 23 March


Recognized annually on March 23, World Meteorological Day commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on this date in 1950.

  • The day showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and well-being of society.
  • The theme of World Meteorlogical Day in 2018 is “Weather-ready, climate-smart”.

2. International TB Day: 24 March

World Tuberculosis Day, observed on 24 March each year, is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.

  • In 2012, 8.6 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.3 million died from the disease, mostly in the Third World.
  • World TB Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The theme for the year `2018 is ‘Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world’.

3. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: 25 March

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observance designated in 2007 to be marked on 25 March every year.

  • The theme of International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 2018 is “Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality”.

4. India Is Now The 4th Largest Automobile Market Globally

According to the latest 2018 global data show, India has overtaken Germany and has become the fourth largest automobile market in the world.

  • As the statistics show, the automobile sales grew by 9.5 percent, which, is the fastest growth rate among major global markets.
  • China is the largest Auto Market globally.

5. India ranks 109th globally in mobile download speeds

India, the largest consumer of mobile data in the world, ranks 109th when it comes to mobile Internet download speeds.

  • The average download speed over the mobile increased to 9.01 mbps in February from the 8.80 mbps in November last year, but the country’s rank continued to stay at 109th, Ookla’s Speedtest index said.
  • Norway is positioned at the top with an average download speed of 62.07 mbps.
  • India however, fared better on the fixed broadband front, according to Ookla, with its rank improving to 67.
  • Singapore leads in the fixed broadband front, with a download speed of 161.53 mbps.

6. India is the third largest electricity producer

Now India is the third largest electricity producer ahead of Russia Japan.

  • India’s electricity production grew 34% over seven years to 2017, and the country now produces more energy than Japan and Russia, which had 27% and 8.77% more electricity generation capacity installed, respectively, than India seven years ago.
  • With a production of 1,423 billion units in FY 2016, India is the third largest producer and the third largest consumer of electricity in the world, behind China (6,015 billion units) and the United States (4,327 billion units).

7. World Theatre Day: 27 March

World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI).

  • It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community.
  • The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962.

8. Punjab observes martyrdom day as Youth Empowerment Day

The Punjab government has observed March 23, the death anniversary of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, as Youth Empowerment Day.

  • State Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to commemorate the date as ‘Youth Empowerment Day’ at the national level also.

9. Govt decides to declare 2018 as National Year of Millets

The government has decided to declare 2018 as ‘National Year of Millets to boost the cultivation of millets like ragi and jowar on a mission mode to achieve nutritional security.

  • This was stated by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh while addressing MPs in a consultative committee meeting in New Delhi.
  • The Minister said millet cultivation has declined due to change in dietary habits and unavailability of millets. As a result of this, level of nutrients like proteins, Vitamin-A, iron and iodine fell in women and children.

10. Roundtable of Invest India Held

Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu chaired a roundtable of Invest India in New Delhi.

  • Various regulatory issues faced by Startups in the sectors of e-pharmacy, NBFCs, unmanned aerial vehicle and retail delivery of petroleum from door to door were discussed with the concerned Ministries and departments of the Government of India in the presence of the Minister.
  • Following issues like presence of pharmacist at e-pharmacy platforms, stream lining of the application process for NBFCs by RBI, reforms in current guidelines for UAV sector, which doesn’t allow for manufacturing of drones, and vehicle specifications for door to door retail delivery of petroleum, were discussed at length.

11. 5th India Maize Summit 2018

Maize production in India has seen a boom in recent years which has been possible due to increase in area as well as productivity.

  • This was stated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh at the inaugural event of the 5th India Maize Summit 2018 at FICCI, New Delhi.
  • Delivering the inaugural address, Shri Singh said that during 1950-51, India produced only 1.73 MT, which has reached 25.89 MT in 2016-17 and is expected to cross 27 MT in 2017-18.
  • The average productivity in India is 2.43 ton/ha.

12. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir inaugurates first National Conference on Drug Law Enforcement

The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that Narco-terrorism and its funding is a serious problem for the world, especially for India.

  • Inaugurating the two-day first National Conference on Drug Law Enforcement in New Delhi, he said the challenge for law enforcement agencies and the society is to prevent drug abuse among youth.
  • He said that India’s nodal drug law enforcement agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been sharing intelligence information with other agencies of the world in tackling drug trafficking.

13. ‘First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 Words’ Launched

“First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 words” was launched by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • The dictionary has been developed by Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLR&TC) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), M/o Social Justice & Empowerment.

14. Andhra Govt launches Naipunya Ratham

The Andhra Pradesh Government launched, NAIPUNYA RATHAM, a multi-utility vehicle which aims to bring technology to the remote corners.

  • Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu announced that the Government will roll out 12 more Naipunya Rathams by May this year.
  • Naipunya Rathaams will facilitate and look to improve digital literacy, digital skills and create an awareness on various government schemes.

15. Navy warship INS Ganga decommissioned in Mumbai

INS Ganga, an indigenously built frigate of the Indian Navy, was decommissioned in Mumbai after over three decades of service.

  • Commissioned on December 30, 1985, the ship represented a big step forward in the nation’s warship building capability.
  • The ceremony was attended by several officers and men, many now retired, who had served on board the ship.

16. Ambedkar Jayanti to be celebrated as ‘Social Justice Day’

The birth anniversary of India’s Dalit social reformer Dr BR Ambedkar will be celebrated as ‘Social Justice Day’.

  • Born into a poor Dalit family, on 14 April 1891, Ambedkar became independent India’s first law minister, the principal architect of the Constitution of India.
  • Ambedkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1990.

17. All India Police Science Congress kicks off in Himachal

The two-day 46th All India Police Science Congress organised by the Himachal Pradesh Police Department and The Bureau of Police Research and Development began in Himachal Pradesh.

  • It began with a clarion call to the police by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to stay ahead of criminals by using technology to prevent and detect crime.

18. Theatre Olympics kicks off in Mumbai

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, along with veteran actor Vikram Gokhle, inaugurated the eighth edition of Theatre Olympics, a fortnight-long international theatre festival in Mumbai.

  • The festival will present 28 performances from a diverse range of theatre forms from all over the world.
  • The inaugural play was a Hindi production “Mohe Piya”, by Waman Kendre, director of National School of Drama (NSD).

19. West Bengal tops the list of states with most number of beggars

The government has come out with the total number of beggars in the country. As per the data released by Union ministry of Social Justice, there are around 4 lakh beggars in total.

  • The highest number of beggars, 81,000, are in West Bengal.
  • West Bengal is followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at number two and three respectively.
  • Lakshadweep, a union territory, has only two people begging for their livelihood.

20. UIDAI set to introduce face authentication feature from July 1

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is all set to make face authentication available alongside iris or fingerprint scan as means of verifying Aadhaar users from July 1, 2018.

  • The UIDAI, which is in-charge of the 12-digit identifier Aadhaar, in January had announced that it will introduce face authentication feature to help those who run into problems in biometric authentication due to old age, hardwork or worn-out fingerprints.

21. 11th Rashtriya Rifles biennial conference at Nagrota on 26-27 March 2018

The eleventh Rashtriya Rifles Biennial Conference is being conducted at Nagrota from 26 to 27 March 18.

  • The event chaired by Chief of the Army Staff has been attended by Army Commander Northern Command, Director General Rashtriya Rifles, Corps Commander 15 and 16 Corps and all General Officers Commanding Counter Insurgency Forces.
  • The Rashtriya Rifles has assisted the locals from inaccessible and far flung areas of the state by providing assistance in diverse fields and has given an impetus to development, growth, education, women empowerment, skill development and communal harmony through its multifarious enabling civil action programs.

22. ISA and India sign the Host Country Agreement

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement.

  • The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings.
  • Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes.
  • ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

23. Surat first district to have 100% solar powered health centres

Surat has become the first district in the country to have 100 percent solar powered Primary Health Centers (PHC).

  • There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by solar system.
  • This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.

24. ‘National Conference on Down Syndrome’ held

A’ National Conference on Down Syndrome’ was organised by the National Trust under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi.

  • Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chairman, National Trust inaugurated it in the presence of Shri Mukesh Jain, JS & CEO, National Trust, Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Chairperson, Down Syndrome Federation of India and various stakeholders associated with Down Syndrome.
  • A book entitled “Twilights Children” based on the lives of person suffering from Down Syndrome was released on the occasion.
  • The conference brought intellectuals from all walks of life on one platform to spur ideas and channelized knowledge on Down Syndrome which was very beneficial to enable a positive change in the people with Down Syndrome.
  • People with Down Syndrome and their parents were invited to share their inspirational stories.

25. Tribal Affairs Minister, Shri Jual Oram to launch “E-Tribes India” in New Delhi

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, (TRIFED), under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, is going Digital as per the vision document of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.

  • The “e-Tribes India” would be launched by the Union Tribal Affairs Minister, Shri Jual Oram.
  • The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor and the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat will also grace the occasion.
  • The Launch of e-Tribes, TRIFED’s websites includes http://www.tribesindia.com, http://www.trifed.in and Retail Inventory Software and M-commerce app.
  • Besides, the occasion will also mark the launch of ‘Tribes India’ Banners at Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm & GeM. TRIFED’s Handbook for Retail Trade and TRIFED’s quarterly magazine ‘Tribes Haat’ will also be inaugurated.

26. Department of Posts launches Cool EMS Service between India and Japan

Ministry of Communications has launched the Cool EMS Service which will come into force from 29.03.2018.

  • Cool EMS service is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations.
  • Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only.
  • Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve the quality of the food items and addressee will collect them from Foreign Post office, Kotla Road, New Delhi in-person or through a messenger in the prescribed time frame.

27. IM-PDS approved for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20

A new central sector scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” has been approved for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20.

  • The key objectives of the scheme are to integrate PDS system/portals of States/UTs with Central System/portals, introduction of National Portability, and de-duplication of ration cards/beneficiary, etc.

28. Setting up of National Academic Depository (NAD) for Digitalization of School Records

Government has setup National Academic Depository (NAD) which is a 24×7 online store house of academic awards digitally lodged by various academic institutions/school boards/eligibility assessment bodies.

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has been designated as authorized body to operationalise NAD.

29. Deadline To Link PAN With Aadhaar Extended To June 30

The CBDT has extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to June 30. The policy-making body of the tax department issued an order extending the deadline from the current last date of March 31.

  • The order said the deadline for PAN-Aadhaar linking for filing I-T returns is being extended after “consideration of the matter”.

30. 3,21,567 Affordable Houses sanctioned for Urban Poor under PMAY(Urban)

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 3,21,567 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs. 18,203  cr with central assistance of Rs. 4,752  cr. T

  • The approval was given in the 32nd meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee.
  • The projects were sanctioned across 523 cities in the states of Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab & Goa.
  • With the above proposed houses, cumulative houses under PMAY(U) would become 42,45,792 after final approval from CSMC.
  • Further after subsuming projects of RAY scheme the total number of houses being funded under PMAY(Urban) would be 43,87,640 houses.

31. MP has the highest number of  tribal habitations fully covered by Drinking Water supply

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has informed that under the Scheme ‘National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), 10% of the total allocation of funds is earmarked to be used for the supply of drinking water to Scheduled Tribe (ST) dominated habitations.

  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of  55770  fully covered tribal habitations with the safe drinking water in the country followed by Odisha 52427 ,Jharkhand 53476 numbers of  habitations.

32. Cabinet approves re-structuring of NSDF and NSDC

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for restructuring of National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring framework.

  • The restructuring will also ensure better corporate governance, transparency and accountability in operations of NSDC besides strengthening the oversight role of NSDF.
  • The approval would lead to restructuring of composition of Board of NSDF and the NSDC to strengthen governance, implementation and monitoring.

33. Cabinet approves certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.

  • The Amendment to the NMC Bill comes in the backdrop of its consideration in the Lok Sabha on 02.01.2018 and subsequently being referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC).
  • The Government has considered the recommendations made by the Standing Committee in its report tabled in the House on 20.03.2018 and general feedback, particularly the views of medical students and practitioners regarding certain provisions of the Bill.

34. Cabinet approves formulation of a new Integrated Scheme for School Education from 1st April, 2018

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate a Integrated Scheme on School Education by subsuming Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1st April, 2018 to 31st March, 2020.

  • An estimated allocation of Rs 75,000 crore over the period has been approved which is a 20% increase over the current allocations.
  • The scheme comes in the backdrop of PM’s vision of SabkoShiksha, AchhiShiksha and aims to support the States in universalizing access to school education from classes pre-nursery to XII across the country.

35. Harsimrat Kaur Badal to inaugurate Rajasthan’s first mega food park in Ajmer

Union Food Processing Industries Minister Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal will inaugurate the first mega food park at Roopangarh Village in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

  • The Food Park is being set up at a cost of Rs 113.57 crore and will benefit around 25,000 farmers in Ajmer as well as neighbouring districts.
  • The facilies being created at Central Processing Centre (CPC) of this Mega Food Park include Cold Storage of 5,000 MT, Deep Freeze of 2,550 MT, IQF of 2 MT/Hr., Dry Warehouse for Raw Materials 2,500 MT + Dry Warehouse for Finished Goods of 5,000 MT, Silos of 6,500 MT, Pack House of 10 MT/Hr, Steam Generator of 8 MT/Hr and other related food processing facilities.
  • The mega food park would leverage an additional investment of about Rs. 250 crore in 25-30 food processing units in the park and would eventually lead to a turnover of about Rs. 450-500 crore annually.

36. First National Conclave on Psychological Trauma, Child Protection, and Mental Illnesses

With an aim to provide a comprehensive synthesis of research, service provision, and clinical practice in addressing psychological trauma and subsequent mental illnesses in Indian children and adolescents, First ever National conclave was held on 27-28th March,2018 by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, in collaboration with the Dept. of Psychiatry, AIIMS in  JLN Auditorium, AIIMS, New Delhi.

  • The Conclave was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr. Virendra Kumar.
  • In his inaugural address, the Minister said that psychological trauma is a broad term that may include many kinds of experiences and circumstances such as human trafficking, sexual harassment, war, natural disaster, abduction, domestic violence etc.

37. Rashtrapati Bhavan Harvests Its First Crop of Honey From KVIC’s Apiary

The apiary of Rashtrapati Bhavan has started giving the yields; on Tuesday, from the gardens of the Presidential House around 186 kilograms of honey was extracted.

  • Rashtrapati Bhavan has abundant flora and fauna, including lush trees of mangoes, Indian blackberries (jamun), neem and drumsticks.
  • KVIC Chairman Mr Saxena said that he is feeling proud that Prime Minister’s ‘Sweet Revolution’ in Delhi and NCR is starting from the house of First Citizen of the Nation.
  • The apiary in the Rashtrapati Bhavan garden was set up under Honey Mission of KVIC.

38. Haryana’s Mewat is India’s most backward district

The NITI Aayog has released a preliminary ranking for the 101 most backward districts of India that have signed up for the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme.

  • Haryana’s Mewat is the lowest-ranked among these backwards districts, while Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram is the best-performing district of the 101.
  • Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon and Maharashtra’s Osmanabad lie second and third on the top of the table.

39. GSLV Successfully Launches GSAT-6A Satellite

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) successfully launched GSAT-6A Satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on March 29, 2018.

  • Launch of GSLV was its twelfth and took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, the spaceport of India.
  • This is the fifth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage.

40. Andhra CM inaugurates International Yachting Festival

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu flagged off the International Yachting Festival in Visakhapatnam.

  • The festival, which is being held from March 29 to April 1, was inaugurated in the presence of IT minister Nara Lokesh, HRD minister Ganta Srinivasarao and other local MLAs.
  • This International Yachting Festival is the first step in developing sea tourism in Visakhapatnam.

41. MP to raise retirement age for govt employees to 62 years

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced raising the retirement age of state government employees to 62 years from the current 60 years.

  • He however did not disclose details of this decision. There are about five lakh regular government employees in the state.
  • The state government had made a provision for reservation for SC/ST employees in promotion, which was set aside by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

42. Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken gets Geographical Indication tag

Kadaknath, a chicken breed whose black meat is in demand in Madhya Pradesh has got the coveted Geographical Indications (GI) tag label.

  • The protein-rich meat of Kadaknath, chicks and eggs are sold at a much higher rate than other varieties of chicken.
  • Chennai-based GI Registry accepted the application of Gramik Vikas Trust, Jhabua, which was filed in 2012.

43. Shri Prakash Javadekar launches the Grand Finale of the Smart India Hackathon 2018

The Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched in New Delhi the world’s largest event is its kind- the two day grand finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018 (Software Edition) being held at 28 nodal centres across the country simultaneously.

  • Addressing the participating students at New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM in New Delhi), Shri Javadekar said that more than 1 lakh students of more than 1200 colleges are participating in this second edition of the Smart India Hackathon 2018, which is a record.
  • He said that more than 8000 students at 28 different centres will work on their final innovations for the next 36 hours.
  • These students will codify their innovations in a group of six, on which they are working hard since last 4 months.

44. ISRO–BHEL Tie up for the Production of Space Grade Lithium-Ion Cells

ISRO has entered into a Technology Transfer Agreement (TTA) with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), which is one of the country’s leading PSUs, to transfer the technology for the manufacture of space grade Li-Ion cells.

  • The TTA was signed at ISRO Headquarters, Bengaluru in the presence of Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO and Mr. Atul Sobti, Chairman & Managing Director, BHEL.
  • ISRO uses Li-Ion batteries as power sources for satellite and launch vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long cycle life.

45. Equitas Bank ties up with CSK

Equitas Small Finance Bank has launched a new ‘Yellow Army Savings Account’ to increase its customer base through its association with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a franchise of the Indian Premium League (IPL).

  • The yellow army savings account will offer an interest rate of six per cent per annum for balance below Rs.10 lakh and 6.5 per cent per annum for balance above Rs.10 lakh.
  • The average quarterly balance requirement will be Rs.10,000 per account.

46. Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Fisdom team up for digital NPS

Bengaluru-based start-up Fisdom and Lakshmi Vilas Bank have entered into a partnership to enable investments in the National Pension Scheme (NPS) in a completely digital and paperless manner.

  • Fisdom provides the NPS digitally through its mobile app with which any registered user can invest in the NPS.
  • Under the partnership, the customers of LVB will be able to plan their investments under the pension scheme.

47. ‘Economy to double to $5 tn by 2025’

India is on track to doubling the size of its economy to USD 5 trillion by 2025, the finance ministry said while asserting that the inflation target set by the Reserve Bank will not be breached.

  • The country is well poised to click a growth rate of 7–8 per cent and with focus on start-ups, MSMEs and infrastructure investment it can step on to higher growth pedestal, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said.
  • India’s GDP in value terms currently stands at USD 2.5 trillion—making it the sixth largest economy in the world.

48. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission Signs SOI with SAP Global

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) announced the signing of a Statement of Intent (SOI) with SAP to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • As part of the SOI, SAP in 2018 will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) for five years to nurture the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning among secondary school children across India.
  • The objective of this program is to enable students to learn digital transformation and topics related to digital conversion and internet of thinking such as design thinking method, programming language and experiential science teaching.

49. Government of India and ADB sign $80 Million Loan Agreement

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed $80 million loan to help modernize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and improve the skills ecosystem in the State of Himachal Pradesh.

  • The Project will establish a polytechnic for women, six city Livelihood Centers, and seven Rural Livelihood Centers, and upgrade 11 employment exchanges into model career Centers.

50. Rs 350 coin to mark birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh

Government will come out with a Rs 350 commemorative coin to mark 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and last Sikh Guru.

  • The coin with standard weight of 35 gram will have 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc.
  • The reverse side will bear the picture of “Takht Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib” in the centre.

51. RBI imposes Rs 59 cr penalty on ICICI Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on ICICI Bank Ltd for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI.

  • The central bank, in a statement, said this penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account failure of the bank to adhere to its directions/guidelines.

52. Fino Payments Bank to deploy mPoS devices across 10,000 banking points

Fino Payments Bank has said it plans to deploy multi-utility Android-based mPoS (mobile point-of-sale) devices across 10,000 banking points in the country in a phased manner.

  • The mPoS is a portable device with an in-built fingerprint scanner, card reader, camera, printer and a tablet, the payments bank said.
  • The device will gradually replace the combination of devices currently used to facilitate fingerprint authentication and digital transactions.

53. Rivigo ties up with IDFC, YES Bank, for truck loans

Rivigo, a homegrown logistics start-up that owns as well as acts as an aggregator of trucks, is tying up with YES Bank, IDFC and 10 other financial institutions to make cheaper funds available to truck owners and operators on its platform.

  • The funds will be available at an interest rate of 1-2 per cent per month, lower than the usual industry standard of 2-3 per cent.
  • Instead of waiting for funds from their customers, they can get the money from the banks for a duration of 30-60 days.

54. Martin Vizcarra Sworn In As Peru’s New President

Martin Vizcarra, served as Peru’s first vice president and ambassador to Canada, has been sworn in as the country’s new president.

  • Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was less than two years into a five-year term, tendered his resignation.
  • Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker, is accused of having accepted illegal payments from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction conglomerate.

55. Government nominates J S Rajput as Representative to the Board of UNESCO

The Government of India has decided to nominate Professor J S Rajput, former Director NCERT, as India’s representative to the Executive Board (EXB) of UNESCO.

  • Professor J S Rajput is an eminent educationist with rich experience in various fields including UNESCO.
  • The EXB has a four-year term of office and 58 seats.
  • The executive board is one of the constitutional organs of UNESCO and is elected by the General Conference.

56. Vijay Raghavan appointed principal scientific advisor to govt

K Vijay Raghavan, one of the most distinguished biologists of the country, was appointed Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.

  • He will succeed 81-year-old nuclear physicist R Chidambaram, who has been in the position for more than 16 years, having been appointed in 2001.
  • Vijay Raghavan (64), until recently Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, will have a tenure of three years.
  • The Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA), a post created by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999, is the topmost advisor to the government on all matters related to scientific policy.

57. Win Myint elected new Myanmar president

Myanmar’s parliament has elected Win Myint as the country’s next president, a week after the resignation of his predecessor Htin Kyaw.

  • Win Myint, a close aide of Aung San Suu Kyi, has been a speaker in the lower house since 2012 and was widely tipped for the top job.
  • But his role will be essentially ceremonial, with Ms Suu Kyi acting as de facto president.

58. Shekhar Kapur to head the jury for 65th National Film Awards

Veteran director Shekhar Kapur has been appointed chairman of the central panel of the 65th National Film Awards.

  • The central panel comprises a chairperson and 10 other members, including five regional chairpersons who head the respective regional panels.

59. Indu Bhushan appointed CEO of ‘Ayushman Bharat’ mission

Indu Bhushan has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (ABNHPM).

  • Bhushan, the Director General of East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines, has been appointed to the post for a period of two years.
  • The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the launch of the Ayushman Bharat mission recently.

60. Abiye Ahmed is new Ethiopia Prime Minister

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has voted in Abiye Ahmed as new prime minister following the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn last month.

  • The 180-member council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) chose Abiye to succeed Hailemariam as the chairperson of the coalition, meaning he automatically becomes premier.
  • Abiye won over 60 percent of all votes in the council.

61. SC Appoints Justice Jawad Rahim as Acting Chairperson of NGT

The Supreme Court has appointed Justice Jawad Rahim, judicial member of National Green Tribunal (NGT), as the acting chairperson of the green panel.

  • A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the new acting chairperson will discharge his duties until a regular appointment is made and will take part in selection process of other members of the NGT.

62. Andhra Pradesh appoints shuttler Srikanth as Deputy Collector

Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has been appointed as a Deputy Collector by the Andhra Pradesh government.

  • Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu handed over the appointment letter to him in Amravati in the presence of former All-England champion and celebrated badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.
  • The Chief Minister also congratulated Srikanth for recently receiving Padma Shri award.

63. Egypt’s Sisi re-elected with 92% vote

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with 92 percent of the vote.

  • Sisi, who ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with 96.9 percent of the vote.

64. US diplomat DiCarlo becomes first female UN political chief

Long-serving American diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo was appointed to become the first woman to head UN political affairs, one of the most high-profile positions at the world body.

  • DiCarlo will replace Jeffrey Feltman, another American who held the post of under-secretary-general for political affairs since 2012, overseeing UN efforts to end conflicts worldwide.

65. Chandra Bhushan appointed Deputy EC

Senior bureaucrat Chandra Bhushan Kumar has been appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner as part of a major bureaucratic reshuffle by the government.

  • Bhushan, a 1995 batch IAS officer of union territories cadre, has been appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

66. Vineet Joshi appointed as first Director General of National Testing Agency

The government has appointed senior bureaucrat Vineet Joshi as the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which will conduct the entrance examinations for higher educational institutions organised by the CBSE, AICTE and other bodies.

  • Joshi, a 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre, was appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the department of personnel and training said.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in his budget speech of 2017-18, announced the setting up of the NTA “as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions”.

67. G.K. Reddy award for journalist Karan Thapar

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has presented the G.K. Reddy Memorial National Award for journalism to senior journalist and television presenter Karan Thapar.

  • Speaking at the event held at the Teen Murti Bhawan in the capital, Dr. Singh lauded Mr. Thapar’s contribution to the field of journalism.

68. Chhattisgarh bags ‘Water Digest Award’ for water conservation

Chhattisgarh bagged the National ‘Water Digest Award’ for Water Conservation-Diversion and for increasing the irrigation capacity in the State.

  • This is the first time that Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department had been given national Award during the past 17 years.
  • The Award is presented every year by globally renowned magazine ‘Water Digest’-which focuses mainly on water resources.

69. London based organisation SACF wins Frederick Pincott Award for 2017

South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF), a London based organisation has received the Frederick Pincott Award for 2017 from the Indian High Commissioner, Y K Sinha for promoting Hindi cinema in Britain for the last 18 years.

  • The institution has been active in boosting original research and books on Indian films, also inviting and honouring filmmakers from India.
  • The SACF was set up in London in January 2000 by Lalit Mohan Joshi, along with film archivist P K Nair.

70. Liashkova from Belarus wins Miss Supermodel Worldwide 2018 title

Belarus beauty Aleksandra Liashkova won Miss Supermodel Worldwide 2018 title at a grand finale in Gurugram. Ekaterina Evdokimova of Russia was declared 1st runner-up.

  • India’s Shweta Parmar was awarded Miss Congeniality.
  • First edition of the pageant saw Liashkova beating 42 other hopefuls. It was organised by Ten Square Media and Rubaru Group.

71. J.C. Daniel Award for Sreekumaran Thampi

Lyricist and director Sreekumaran Thampi has been selected for the J.C. Daniel Award, the Kerala government’s highest honour for lifetime contribution to Malayalam cinema.

  • Culture Minister A.K. Balan said that the award, comprising Rs 5 lakh and a citation, would be presented to Thampi at the Kerala State Film Award.
  • Thampi made his debut in 1966 with Kattumallika and has written over 1,000-odd melodies.

72. Sindhu to be India’s flagbearer in Gold Coast CWG

Star shuttler P V Sindhu has been named the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast next month.

  • The opening ceremony will be held on April 4.
  • Having won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics two years ago, the Hyderabad-based World No. Sindhu is one of the favourites to win the badminton women’s singles title in Gold Coast.
  • In the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, Sindhu bagged a bronze in women’s singles.

73. Shooter Manu wins gold at Junior World Cup

Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup.

  • Just 20 days ago, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut.

74. Sebastian Vettel leapfrogs Lewis Hamilton to take Australian GP win

Sebastian Vettel won a dramatic Australian Grand Prix after leapfrogging Lewis Hamilton during a safety car period.

  • The Mercedes driver was in control of the race until Romain Grosjean’s Haas stopped on track and officials imposed a virtual safety-car, which restricts the pace of the cars on track.

75. Punjab crowned National hockey champion

Hockey Punjab were crowned champions of the 8th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship after they came from a goal down to defeat Petroleum Sports Promotion Board 2-1 in a well-fought encounter.

  • Hockey Punjab made a comeback in the last seven minutes of the match, Sarvanjit Singh scoring two goals in the 53rd and 60th minutes.
  • In the Bronze medal match, defending champions Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) defeated Air India Sports Promotion Board.

76. Pankaj Advani retains Asian Billiards title

Pankaj Advani defended his Asian Billiards Championships title in style by demolishing his practice partner B Bhaskar 6-1 in the summit clash in yangon, Myanmar.

  • With this win, Advani remains the reigning Indian, Asian and world champion in billiards for 2017-18.
  • India’s Amee Kamani won the Asian Women’s Snooker title by defeating her Thai opponent Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan 3-0.

77. Cricket Australia bans Steve Smith, David Warner for 12 months

Cricket Australia (CA) has banned Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner for 12 months and handed a nine-month ban to Cameron Bancroft.

  • Warner and Smith have also been banned from captaining Australia for two years.
  • These players have been charged for deliberately ttrying to tamper with the condition of the ball in an orchestrated attempt to gain an advantage.

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