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First BRICS Sherpa meeting under the Presidency of Brazil concludes successfully
● The first BRICS Sherpa meeting under the Presidency of Brazil concluded at Curitiba in Brazil.
● Secretary, Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs, T S Tirumurti led the Indian delegation at the two-day meeting.
● During the meeting, India conveyed its support for the priority areas set out by Brazil, particularly to take forward BRICS cooperation on counter-terrorism in a meaningful and manner with BRICS member countries.
● Founded: June 2006
● Members: India, China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa
● Headquarters: Shanghai, China
Guinea PM arrives in Delhi on a ten-day visit to India
● Prime Minister of Guinea Ibrahima Kassory Fofana has arrived in New Delhi on a ten-day official visit to India.
● During the visit, Mr Fofona will call on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
● Mr Fofona will address the inaugural session of 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Partnership Project in New Delhi.
● The Guinean Prime Minister will also attend a programme in Vishakhapatnam.
NGT directs CPCB to prepare a noise pollution map
● The National Green Tribunal, NGT, has directed the Central Pollution Control Board, CPCB, to prepare a noise pollution map across the country.
● The NGT also directed to propose a remedial action plan to solve the issue within three months.
● A bench headed by National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the CPCB to identify noise pollution hotspots and categorise cities with specified hotspots.
● The NGT said the absence of implementation of noise pollution norms affects the health of citizens, especially infants and senior citizens.
Diksha Dagar becomes second Indian to win Ladies European Tour title
● Diksha Dagar became only the second Indian woman to win on Ladies European Tour in golf after clinching the South African Open in Cape Town.
● Dagar follows Aditi Ashok, who in 2016 became the first Indian to win on the LET.
● She has been wearing hearing aids since the age of six.
● Dagar won silver at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics.
● She also had a stellar Amateur career during which she represented India at the 2018 Asian Games and won the 2018 Singapore Amateur title.
India finishes second in medal tally at Asian Youth Championships
● In Asian Youth Athletics Championships youth team finish second in the overall medals tally with a total of 26 medals including eight gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals.
● On the last day boys, medley relay team won a gold medal for India.
● China topped the overall medals tally with 31 medals that included 12 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze medals.
● Japan finished third with 20 medals that included 6 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 bronze
● Points to Remember
● The Asian Youth Athletics Championships is a biennial, continental athletics competition organised by the Asian Athletics Association.
● It a youth category event open to athletes aged fifteen and seventeen.
● 2019 host: Hong Kong
World's most expensive cities revealed
● It's the first time three cities have shared the top spot in the 30-year history of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey, which compares prices in 133 cities globally.
● Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong are the most expensive cities according to the survey.
● The survey compares the cost of common items, such as bread, haircuts etc in 133 cities.
● Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Karachi feature among the 10 cheapest locations surveyed.
BJP's Pramod Sawant sworn-in as new Goa CM
● BJP MLA Pramod Sawant was sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Goa.
● He succeeds Manohar Parrikar, who passed away following a prolonged illness.
● Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 46-year-old Sawant.
● He represents Sankhalim constituency in Goa Assembly.
● The Governor also administered the oath to 11 other ministers, including those from BJP's allies Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP).
Bottas wins Formula One season opener, Australian Grand Prix
● Valtteri Bottas won the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
● He upstaged his Mercedes world champion team-mate, Lewis Hamilton.
● Hamilton finished the race in the second spot, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third.
International Day of Happiness: 20 March
● The International Day of Happiness is celebrated since 2013 on 20 March every year.
● The day was founded to inspire and spread a global happiness movement.
● The day was founded and materialised by United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien.
● The theme for International Day of Happiness 2019 is ‘Happier Together’.
Mumbai social worker Gauri Sawant becomes first transgender election ambassador
● The Election Commission of India has appointed transgender social activist Gauri Sawant, as one of the 12 election ambassadors from Maharashtra.
● During 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections there was no record of transgender voters.
● Following the Supreme Court order, transgenders got the right to vote for the first time in 2014.
● In 2014, 918 voters were registered in this third category. This number has doubled in five years and now it is 2,086.
● Election Commission has nominated the renowned sportsmen, film-makers, literary personalities of the respective constituencies as the goodwill ambassadors to induce more voters to vote in the Lok Sabha elections.
Deal signed to host T10 league for five years in Abu Dhabi
● The Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be the new home of T10 cricket for the next five years, starting with the 2019 season.
● In Cricket, there are two short formats so far, that is, ODI and T-20. Now, brace for T-10.
● The shortest form of the game will now be played exclusively at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
● The first match of the T10 League 2019 will be held on October 23.
Kazakhstan to rename country's capital Astana as Nursultan
● Kazakhstan's parliament voted to rename the country's capital Astana as Nursultan.
● It will be renamed in honour of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev a day after he resigned as president.
● Kazakhstan's new interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed renaming the capital.
● Astana replaced Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty as the capital in 1997.
Google unveils Stadia
● Google unveiled a video-game streaming platform called Stadia, positioning itself to take on the traditional video-game business.
● The platform will store a game-playing session in the cloud and lets players jump across devices operating on Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks.
● Google made the announcement at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch unveiled
● Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unveiled a cherry-blossom shaped torch for the Games.
● The top part of the torch is shaped in the traditional emblem of the sakura, or cherry blossom.
● The shiny rose-gold torch, which is 71 centimetres long and weighs 1.2 kilograms, uses aluminium construction waste from temporary housing built for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
● Fukushima was chosen as the starting point for the Olympic torch relay.
● Japan has dubbed the 2020 Games the "Reconstruction Olympics" and wants to showcase recovery in regions devastated by the disaster.
World Water Day: 22 March
● World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March, it highlights the importance of freshwater.
● The first World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.
● The theme for World Water Day 2019 is ‘Leaving no one behind’.
SpiceJet becomes first Indian low-cost airline to join IATA
● SpiceJet has joined global airlines’ grouping International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership.
● The IATA represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.
● The IATA membership is significant on account of SpiceJet’s plans for rapidly expanding its international footprint.
● SpiceJet is the first Indian low-cost carrier to be an IATA member and fifth member of IATA in India.
India bag 368 medals at Special Olympics World Games
● India won 368 medals (85 gold, 154 Silver, and 129 Bronze) at the Special Olympics World Summer Games, held at Abu Dhabi, UAE.
● The tournament which started on March 14 ended on March 21.
● In the 2015 Special Olympics that took place in the US, India managed to grab 173 medals.
● The next Special Olympic Games are set to take place in Sweden in 2021.
Indian Air Force to participate in LIMA 2019
● Indian Air Force will participate in Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo, LIMA 2019.
● The expo will take place in Langkawi, Malaysia from 26th to 30th March.
● Indian Air Force is participating in the Expo for the first time and it will showcase its indigenously developed LCA fighter aircraft.
● The participation of Indian Air Force in LIMA - 2019 will provide an opportunity to air-warriors to interact with their Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Bihar celebrated its 107th foundation day
● Bihar celebrated its 107th foundation day on 22 March.
● It was on this day in 1912 the state was carved out of United Bengal.
● A number of programmes were organised to mark the occasion.
● Bihar Foundation organised Bihar day abroad including in US, Britain, Germany, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago.
CBSE launches new Shiksha Vani' app
● The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched a new podcast app 'Shiksha Vani'.
● This app will disseminate crucial information to students and parents in a timely manner.
● The board also mentioned that its first episode, on the evaluation process of Class 10 and 12 board examinations, has been released on the platform.
● As the examinations proceed, the episode helps students understand how their completed papers will be evaluated.
PhonePe appointed Aamir Khan as Brand Ambassador
● PhonePe has appointed Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as the face of its brand.
● PhonePe is also an official co-presenting sponsor for the television broadcast of VIVO IPL 2019.
● Aamir’s presence in the TV ads and his mass appeal as a national icon will help PhonePe create awareness about the benefits of digital payments for users across India.
Kohli's coach Rajkumar Sharma in charge of Malta National team
● Virat Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma has been appointed the head coach of the Malta national cricket team for an ICC qualifying tournament.
● There is a three-nation divisional tournament of the ICC from March 29 to 31 in Spain.
● Malta, Estonia and hosts Spain will take part in the tournament.
● He is a cricket coach and a former Ranji Trophy player and a Dronacharya award winner.
Savita Punia to lead Indian women’s hockey team in Malaysia tour
● Goalkeeper Savita will captain an 18-strong Indian women's hockey team for the five-match series against Malaysia starting from 4th of April.
● Hockey India announced that Savita will stand in for regular skipper Rani Rampal, who is nursing an injury.
● Rajani Etimarpu has joined the squad as the second goalkeeper.
World Tuberculosis Day: 24th March
● World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24th March every year
● It is observed every year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global epidemic.
● The theme this year is, 'It's time'.
● It focuses on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to scale up access to prevention and treatment of the disease.
former SC judge PC Ghose takes oath as Lokpal
● President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to the former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose as Lokpal chairperson.
● The oath was administered at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
● Justice Ghose, the former Supreme Court judge, was on March 19 appointed as the country's first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman.
● President also appointed four Judicial members and four Non-Judicial members in Lokpal.
Suresh Raina becomes the first cricketer to score 5000 IPL runs
● Chennai Super Kings star Suresh Raina created history as he became the first cricketer in Indian Premier League (IPL) to complete 5000 runs.
● He gained this title in the first match of the season against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
● Suresh Raina leads the way with Virat Kohli at the second spot.
● Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma completes the illustrious top three list.
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh appointed as next Navy Chief
● Vice Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed as the next Navy Chief.
● He will succeed Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires on 31st of May this year.
● Vice Admiral Karambir Singh is currently serving as the Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command.
● He has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva MMedal and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.
Maruti Suzuki re-appoints Kenichi Ayukawa as MD and CEO for 3 years
● The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has re-appointed Kenichi Ayukawa as Managing Director and CEO for a period of three years with effect from April 1, 2019.
● The company's board, which met on March 27, re-appointed Ayukawa on the existing terms and conditions including remuneration.
● This would be Ayukawa's third three-year term as MD and CEO of MSI.
● He had taken over for the first time in March 2013.
Advanced electronic intelligence satellite to be launched on Apr 1: ISRO
● India on April 1 will launch an advanced electronic intelligence satellite - EMISAT, along with 28 other international satellites.
● India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 47th mission (PSLV-C45), will launch EMISAT.
● The satellite is slated for liftoff at 0930 Hrs on April 1.
● EMISAT is a primary satellite jointly by developed ISRO and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and weighs around 436 kilograms.
● It will measure the electromagnetic spectrum in space.
India ranks 76th on WEF's global Energy Transition index
● India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index.
● The index has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
● Sweden remains on the top on this annual list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).
● Sweden is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three.
● It said India is amongst the countries with high pollution levels and has a relatively high CO2 intensity in its energy system.
Indian-Sri Lankan armies started military exercise Mitra Shakti
● The joint training exercise MITRASHAKTI - VI between Indian and Sri Lanka Army has been started at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka.
● An Indian contingent of 120 Army personnel, including 11 officers will take part in the two-week long exercise.
● It is an annual event held in India and Sri Lanka alternatively.
● The exercise will help in building proficiency in tackling transnational terrorism, the conduct of joint tactical operations and building combat skills.
India successfully conducts an anti-satellite missile test
● Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test, under Mission Shakti from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
● A DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile, Defence Interceptor Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a Hit to Kill mode.
● He assured the international community that India's capability will not be used against anyone but is purely a defence initiative for its security.
● The successful launch of an anti-satellite missile, the country has emerged as a space superpower in the world.
● After the US, Russia, and China, India is the fourth country to acquire this space capability.
RBI appoints a five-member committee to deepen digital payments
● Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed the 5-member committee to further deepen digital payments and enhance financial inclusion through Fintech.
● The committee will work under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani.
● The RBI has requested the committee to give recommendations in 3 months in this regard.
● Mr Das introduced it at the inaugural event of Financial Technology (Fintech) Conclave being organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi.
World's largest e-waste recycling hub opens in Dubai
● The world's largest e-waste recycling facility has opened in Dubai.
● It is located at the Dubai Industrial Park and will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste.
● It has a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste per year, of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste.
● The facility can process the entire range of WEEE from consumer and industrial to commercial and military.
India & Bolivia sign 8 MoUs in various fields including culture, mining, space
● India and Bolivia have signed eight MoUs on the second day of President Ram Nath Kovind’s three-day visit to that country.
● These MoUs were signed in the fields of culture, Visa waiver arrangement for diplomats, the exchange between diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, the establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and Bi-Oceanic Railway project.
● President is in Bolivia on the second leg of his three-nation tour.
● He is on a three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile from March 25th to April 4th.
RBI slaps Rs 2 crore penalty on PNB
● The Reserve Bank of India has slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations.
● SWIFT is a global messaging software used for sharing information on inter-bank transactions by financial entities.
● The Reserve Bank in a letter dated March 25 has informed the bank about the penalty.
● Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank had imposed penalties worth 71 crore rupees on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance of SWIFT operations.
UGC prohibited distance learning degree courses in agriculture
● The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited imparting distance degree programmes in agriculture.
● The decision was taken by the higher education regulator at its last meeting on the ground.
● It states that a degree programme in agriculture is technical in nature as it requires practical or laboratory courses.
Justice (Retd.) DK Jain will be BCCI's ad-hoc Ethics Officer
● The Committee of Administrators, COA running Indian cricket has said that the newly appointed ombudsman by the BCCI, Justice (Retd.) DK Jain will also be its ad-hoc Ethics Officer.
● The COA, in its 10th Status Report filed on October 28, 2018, had requested the Supreme Court to appoint an Ethics Officer in addition to an Ombudsman for looking into the matters of Conflict of Interest.
● The three-member COA requested Justice Jain to take over as Ethics Officer on an ad-hoc basis till a permanent appointment takes place.
● Justice Jain, who is already looking into Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul chat show controversy, agreed to the request.
Croatia honours President Kovind with the highest civilian award
● President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia's highest civilian award - the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav.
● The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.
● Kovind is in Croatia as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile.
● Kovind is on the first-ever Indian head of state to visit Croatia.
N.K. Singh launched the book ‘Indian Fiscal Federalism’
● Shri N.K. Singh, Chairman, 15th Finance Commission launched the book “Indian Fiscal Federalism”.
● It has been written by Dr Y. V. Reddy, former Governor of RBI and Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission of India along with Dr G. R. Reddy, Advisor (Finance) to the Government of Telangana.
Hitachi Payment Services appoints Rustom Irani as managing director
● Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd. (Hitachi Payments) announced the appointment of Rustom Irani as its new managing director.
● He will also be inducted into the company’s Board effective 1st April 2019.
● Loney Antony, an industry stalwart, has led Hitachi Payments as the Managing Director from its inception.
● Rustom has been with the company for over 8 years and served as the Chief Operations Officer of Hitachi Payment Services.
Q.1 What is the capital of Comoros?
Q.2 Who among the following administered the oath to Lokpal?
A. Prime Minister of India
B. President of India
C. Chief Justice of India
D. Defence Minister of India
Q.3 India will launch an advanced electronic intelligence satellite on 1 April 2019 named as _______.
Q.4 The five-member committee appointed by RBI to deepen digital payments will work under the chairmanship of ________.
A. Gautam Adani
B. Nandan Nilekani
C. Vishal Sikka
D. Azim Premji
Q.5 Who among the following will lead Indian women’s hockey team in Malaysia tour?
A. Navjot Kaur
B. Nikki Pradhan
C. Savita Punia
D. Deepika Thakur
Q.6 Who among the following will be BCCI's ad-hoc Ethics Officer
A. Rajan Gogoi
B. Madan Lokur
C. DK Jain
D. Dipak Mishra
Q.7 Who among the following launched the book “Indian Fiscal Federalism”?
A. Sachin Singh
B. N.K. Singh
C. P.K Gill
D. Jairam Pal
Q.8 Who among the following has been appointed as the managing director of Hitachi Payment Services Pvt Ltd?
A. Rahul Jha
B. Nandan Krishna
C. Rishabh Shukla
D. Rustom Irani