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March 1, 2019
Central govt approves establishment of new AIIMS in Haryana’s Manethi
The Centre has given approval to the establishment of new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Manethi in Haryana’s Rewari district at a cost of Rs. 1299 crore. The objective is to establish the new AIIMS as Institutions of National Importance for providing quality tertiary healthcare, medical education, nursing education and research in the region.
The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), a Central Sector Scheme, aims at correcting the imbalances in the availability of affordable tertiary healthcare facilities in different parts of the country. AIIMS in Haryana was announced in the Interim Budget Speech for the year 2019-20.
Cabinet nod for Rs 1,450 cr to purchase RBI stake in National Housing Bank
The Union Cabinet approved an expenditure of Rs 1,450 crore for purchase of the Reserve Bank of India-held shares in the National Housing Bank (NHB), Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyannounced following a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi. The RBI currently holds 100 per cent stake in the NHB.  The National Housing Bank Act, 1987, had been amended by the Finance Bill 2018 in order to transfer the RBI’s stake in the NHB to the government.
Cabinet approves centre for disability sports at Gwalior
The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior. To be registered under the Societies Registration Act, the proposed Centre will entail an estimated cost of Rs 170.99 crore and be completed in 5 years.  The improved sports infrastructure created by this Centre will ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities in sports activities and also enable them to compete at national and international levels.
Cabinet approves ordinance to set up New Delhi International Arbitration Centre
The Union Cabinet approved promulgation of an ordinance for establishing the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) to create an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration.  The government, “in view of the urgency to make India a hub of institutionalised arbitration and promote ‘ease of doing business'”, has decided to promulgate The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance, 2019.
Ministry of Tribal Affairs launches schemes of Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest produces
Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs launched the ambitious scheme of the Ministry of Tribal AffairsVan Dhan, the scheme for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce Scheme (MFP) and Development of Value Chain of MFPs at a National Workshop organized by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs.   This programme promotes enterprise and marketing skills in tribals. Van Dhan schemeaims to take the share of the Minor Forest Produces to 70 to 80%. The Prime Minister of India launched the Van Dhan Scheme in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on 14th April, 2018.
MAHE – only private Indian University featured in QS World Rankings
Manipal Academy of Higher Education achieved another milestone, as it became the only private University in India to be featured in the QS World rankings in the areas of Medicine and Pharmacy. This is the third consecutive year that MAHE is the highest ranked private University in the country.  Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) became the only private University to be featured along with four Institutions in Medicine and Pharmacy viz. AIIMS (Delhi), Jamia Hamdard (New Delhi) & Banaras Hindu University (Uttar Pradesh).
Environment minister launches anthem on ‘plastic-free India’ in 7 languages
Union Minister Harsh Vardhan launched an anthem as a part of a campaign to make India plastic-free by 2022, and stressed on strengthening plastic waste management and recycling ecosystem in the country. The ”Plastic Waste-Free India” has been anthem, prepared and produced by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Smriti Manch (PDUSM), a non-profit organisation which claims to be working on various social and environmental issues.  The anthem has been launched in 7 languages- Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Malyalam and Kannada.
Karnataka launches ambitious ‘Jalamrutha’ scheme
‘Jalamrutha’, an ambitious water conservation scheme was launched by Karnataka chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy at a programme organized by rural development and panchayat raj department at Dr B R Ambedkar Bhavan in Bengaluru. On the occasion the CM also announced the year 2019 as ‘Jalavarsha (year of water)’.  This initiative by the government has been taken in advance to obviate water-related problems which might grip the humanity in future. The aim is to educate people of the value of water and the need to conserve it in all the possible ways.
Haryana govt. announces Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi Yojana 2019
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced the “Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi” scheme for farmers of the state cultivating up to 5 acres of land and families having income less than Rs. 15,000 per month.  Under the scheme, each beneficiary family would be eligible for a financial assistance of Rs. 6,000 every year and each family will have to nominate a member to avail this benefit.
Signalchip unveils India’s first semiconductor chips for 4G/5G connectivity
Bengaluru-based fabless semiconductor company, Signalchipunveiled India’s first semiconductor chips for 4G/LTE and 5G NR modems, which would enable high-speed wireless communication. These chips put India into an elite group of countries that own this widely used fundamental technology.   The series of chips, code-named ‘Agumbe’ (a small village located in Shimoga district in Karnataka) are the result of over eight years of research and development by Signalchip engineers.
AYUSH Minister lays foundation stone for National Institute of Unani Medicine
AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik laid the foundation stone for National Institute of Unani Medicine at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. This institute would be developed with an approximate cost of 300 crore rupees on 10 acres of land. It would be one of the largestinstitutes of Unani Medicine in Northern India.   The institute would cater to the needs of the masses and would have facilities for quality research and education at postgraduate and PhD levels with a 200 bedded hospital.
Fraud-hit PNB ranks highest in implementation of ‘reforms agenda’
Fraud-hit Punjab National Bank has been ranked first among public sector banks in the implementation of ‘reforms agenda’, followed by Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India. The BCG-IBA report – EASE Reforms for Public Sector Banks measures performance of each PSB.  PNB with a score of 78.4 out of 100 has been ranked first in the EASE (Enhanced Access & Service Excellence)index, followed by BoB, SBI, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank.
IDBI Bank, LIC ink bancassurance pact
IDBI Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India have signed a bancassurance agreementunder which the lender will offer LIC’s insurance products at its branches.  IDBI Bank as a corporate agent of LIC would get a window to provide LIC’s entire gamut of insurance offerings to the bank’s 1.80-crore customer base spread over 1,800 branches across the country.
GDP growth in Q3 of 2018-19 pegged at 6.6%
The economic growth of India slowed to a low of 6.6 per cent in October to December periodof current fiscal year 2018-19. GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q3 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 35 lakh crore, as against Rs 32.85 lakh crore in Q3 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 6.6 per cent, said the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which operates under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
India to grow at 7.3% for next 2 years despite global slowdown: Moody’s(Headquarters:NEW YORK)
Even as the global economy will further weaken in 2019 and 2020, India’s economy will grow at 7.3 per cent in both the calendar years as it is less exposed to the global slowdown, the US-based rating agency said in its quarterly Global Macro Outlook for 2019 and 2020.  It said India and Indonesia are poised to grow at a relatively stable pace, though below their respective potential. The global economy weakened significantly in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will continue to weaken throughout 2019 and into 2020.
Gayle 1st batsman in the world to smash 500 sixes in int’l cricket
Windies’ 39-year-old opener Chris Gayle has become the first ever batsman to smash 500 sixes in international cricket and the second batsman to slam 300 ODI sixes. Gayle smashed 14 sixes during his 97-ball 162-run knock against England in fourth ODI to reach 506 international sixes. He has hit 98 sixes in Tests, 305 in ODIs and 103 in T20Is.
K.L. Rahul only Indian in top 10 batsmen in T20 rankings
K L Rahul was the lone Indian to feature in the top 10 batting list in the latest ICC T20 International Players Rankings released recently. Formerly top-ranked Virat Kohli up two places to 17th and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni up seven places to 56th have also gained among Indian batsmen.  In the ICC Men’s T20 International Team RankingsIndia have retained their second position. Australia have overtaken South Africa and England to reach third place and to within two points of India. Pakistan lead the team rankings with 135 points, 13 points ahead of India.
Dutee Chand clinches gold in Indian Grand Prix-2
Asian Games silver medallist Dutee Chand ran in 200m women’s race to win her second gold medal in the Indian Grand Prix series 2019 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.The timing will help Dutee improve her IAAF World Ranking in the 200m event.  The silver medal went to Anjali Devi of Haryana while Supriya Maddal of Andhra Pradesh bagged the bronze medal.
British boxer James DeGale announces retirement
Two-time world boxing champion James DeGale announced his retirement 10 years after his professional debut. DeGale beat Andre Dirrell for the vavant IBF super middleweight title in 2015 in Boston, then successfully defended it three times across the Atlantic.

Indian-Origin Woman who spied for UK in WWII gets ‘Blue Plaque’ Honour
Britain’s World War II spy Noor Inayat Khan was confirmed as the first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque at her former London home. The Blue Plaque scheme run by English Heritage honours notable people who lived or worked in particular buildings across London.  Major Indian figures to be honoured with Blue Plaques in London include Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and B R Ambedkar, who spent time in the city during the Indian national movement against Britain’s colonial rule.
Bharti AXA General wins ‘Assocham Non-Life Insurer of The Year Award’
Bharti AXA General Insurance has been conferred with the ‘Non-Life Insurer of The Year Award 2019 by the Assocham, one of the apex trade associations of India. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) honored Bharti AXA General Insurance with this recognition for its excellence and contribution to the non-life insurance sector during the Insurance Leaders Meet 2019 (Regulation, Disruption and Product Dynamics) and Excellence Awards in Kolkata.  ASSOCHAM Non-Life Insurer of The Year Award is a testimony to the trust reposed in the company by its customers, stakeholders and the industry as well.  Extra info.:ASSOCHAM Headquarters: New Delhi
Sir Alastair Cook Officially Receives Knighthood At Buckingham Palace
Former England skipper Alastair Cook officially received the knighthood for his services to cricket at an investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace. He is the first England cricketer to receive a knighthood since Sir Ian Botham in 2007.  The 34-year-old retired from international cricket last year and hit a memorable century in his final Test match against India at The Oval.
2ND MARCH 2019
India attends OIC meet for first time
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj attended the inaugural plenary session of the 46th meeting of OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi during March 1-2 at the invitation of her UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. She addressed the inaugural plenary session as a guest of honour.   The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting, which has the theme “50 years of Islamic cooperation: the roadmap for prosperity and development” coinciding with the organisation’s 50th anniversary, will discuss challenges facing the Muslim world.    Extra info.:   OIC Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-Cum-Conference held in Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-Conference in Delhi. The conference will identify proven, innovative and globally established technologies for use in the Indian context.    Proven technologies which are identified during CTI – 2019 will be further invited to design and build lighthouse projects of nearly one thousand housing units each at 6 States in the country. These states are Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
India-Bangladesh joint military exercise ‘Sampriti 2019’ starts in Tangail
As part of the ongoing India Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military exercise Sampriti-2019 will be conducted at Tangail, Bangladesh from 2nd March to 15 March. Exercise Sampriti-2019 is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh and this will be the eighth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.   The exercise is aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in a counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment under the UN mandate.
AIIB to provide USD 455 mn for Andhra rural roads project
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide a loan of USD 455 million to finance the Andhra Pradesh Rural Roads Project, which will connect about 3,300 habitations with a population of more than 250, and benefit around two million people  The objective of the project is to improve road transport connectivity in previously unserved communities by providing all-weather rural roads in all 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.   Extra info.:
AIIB Headquarters: Beijing
‘Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019’ held between BSF and BGB in Tripura
Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) concluded a three-day ‘Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019’ as a part of ‘Confidence Building Measures’ between the two border guards. The exercise was named after a hill range situated 8 km west of Comilla township in Bangladesh, which is home to an ancient Buddhist archaeological site in the region.  The main objective of this exercise was to plan and conduct anti-smuggling and anti-criminal activity related operations with ultimate aim of achieving better joint operational efficiency and border management in the area of responsibility of respective BSF and BGB Battalions participating in the joint exercise.
7th Guiness Book of World Record created by DEPwD in Bharuch, Gujarat
A National Conference on “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot.The “7th Guinness Book of World Record” has been created by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), at Bharuch, Gujarat.  ‘Modern Artificial Limbs (Legs)’ were implanted on 260 Divyang jans within 8 hours in Gujarat. DEPwD has already created 6 World Records in other categories.
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission partners with Adobe to enhance creativity in ATL Schools
Government think tank NITI Aayog partnered with software major Adobe to develop creative skills and spread digital literacy among school children in India. The Statement of Intent (SOI) signed by NITI Aayog and Adobe as part of the Atal Innovation Mission will open Digital Disha Programme across 100 schools under the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).   The Digital Disha Programme, which is expected to touch the lives of 1 million students by 2020, is aimed at driving synergies in creative thinking and technology-based learning.

DCB Bank launches Open Banking for gen-next banking solutions
DCB Bank announced the launch of its Open Banking Platform, a significant step towards creating a collaborative ecosystem with enterprises, fintechs and app developers, and enhancing customer-service delivery. The Open Banking Platform APIs will provide seamless integration of banking services by improving the existing banking technology infrastructure and at the same time meet the growing demand for innovative solutions from new-age customers.  DCB Bank runs a global innovation programme DCB Bank Innovation Carnival wherein it nurtures a strong relationship with the fintech and startup ecosystem. The Open Banking Platform will further strengthen this ecosystem and allow fintechs and startups to test their innovations quickly and efficiently.   Extra info.:  DCB Headquarters: Maharashtra

DBS to operate as wholly-owned subsidiary in India
Singaporean lender DBS is set to convert its India operations into a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the transition will have no impact on the services and benefits extended to existing customers. The Asian bank, which presently operates 12 branches in the country as a franchise, incorporated locally as DBS Bank India Ltd on March 1.  DBS, which was the first bank in India to launch digital-only operations as Digibank in 2016, has already received approval from the Reserve Bank of India for the wholly-owned subsidiary. The bank will be able to bring its “product innovation and technology-led delivery model from across Asia.  Extra info.:
DBS Headquarters: Singapore
Rice Knowledge Bank launched under World-bank funded Assam Agribusiness & Rural Transformation (APART) project
‘Rice Knowledge Bank – Assam’, an agriculture web portal dedicated to enhancing knowledge on rice production techniques and technologies, best production practices and state agriculture facts, was launched as part of the World Bank funded project- Assam Agri-business and Rural Transformation (APART).   The portal is the result of efforts of Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS); Assam Agricultural University (AAU); with technical assistance from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).  Extra info.:  IRRI Headquarters: Los Banos, Philippines
IFFCO Tokio launches India’s first policy to protect bank locker
IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company announced the launch of Bank Locker Protector Policy, which is the first policy in the industry to protect the contents of a bank locker such as jewellery and other valuables. The policy offers a cover against various risks including fire, earthquake, burglary, holdup, infidelity by a bank staff or any act of terrorism. Apart from jewellery and valuables, one can also insure important documents kept in a locker as an add-on cover.  The policy offers seven options of sum insured ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and above. The premium rate is affordable with a cover of Rs 3 lakh available at just Rs 300, which is less than Rs 1 per day.
ADB to lend $926 million for Mumbai metro rail project
Marking its single largest infrastructure loan ever, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $926 million loan agreement with India to operationalise two lines for the Mumbai metro rail system. It aims to ease the distress of millions of commuters each day and help provide a cleaner and less congested city.  The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will implement the project and once operational by the end of 2022, an estimated 2 million passengers a day will use the two new lines.
RBI constitutes task force under Usha Thorat on offshore rupee markets
The RBI announced a task force headed by its former deputy governor Usha Thorat to examine issues related to offshore rupee markets and recommend policy measures to ensure stability of the external value of the domestic currency. The eight-member task force will assess the causes behind the development of the offshore rupee market and study the effects of the offshore markets on the rupee exchange rate and market liquidity in the domestic market.  The central bank further said the panel would be submitting its report by the end of June 2019.

Shashank Shekhar wins 10 km race of Nepal’s COAS Open Marathon and Run for Fun in Kathmandu
India’s Shashank Shekhar won the 10 kilometre race of Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Open Marathon and Run for Fun held in Kathmandu. Shekhar of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Contingent at Embassy of India in Kathmandu secured first position. RD Murgan also from CISF got third place. A total nine CISF personnel participated in 10 KM race category. The remaining seven personnel also successfully completed run and received Certificate of Achievement.

BoB appoints Adhia as Non-Executive Chairman
Former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been appointed as the Non-Executive Chairman of Bank of Baroda. Adhia is an Indian Administrative Service (lAS) officer of the 1981 batch belonging to Gujarat who served as Finance Secretary and Revenue Secretary.  Adhia’s appointment as Non-Executive Chairman is effective from March 1, and comes as a merger is underway between Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.
Ravneet Gill takes charge as Yes Bank MD-CEO
Ravneet Gill joined Yes Bank as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). His tenure as approved by the Reserve Bank of India is of 3 years.  Ajai Kumar has ceased to be an Interim MD and CEO. However, he continues as a non-executive non-independent director on the board. With this, the bank’s new composition of the board of directors has 10 members.

Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day is observed on March 1 and it aims to address the issue of discrimination faced by people across the world. The day further intend to achieve equality before law throughout all member countries of the UN. The theme for Zero Discrimination Day 2019 is ‘Act to change laws that Discriminate’. 
3RD MARCH 2019
Gram Samridhi Yojana: New scheme to help unorganised food processing sector
India’s food processing ministry is working on a new scheme Gram Samridhi Yojana to bolster the unorganised food processing sector concentrated in rural areas. Gram Samridhi Yojana also aims to provide common facility centres and business incubators in rural areas.
·        The Rs 3,000 crore scheme funded by the World Bank and the Centre will help cottage industry, farmer producers’ organisation and individual food processors to increase capacity.
·        The maximum cap of subsidy to be given to a unit will be Rs 10 lakh, apart from interest subsidy, if they avail of loans. There is a provision for getting subsidy on bank interest by 3% to 5%.
Every poor household in Tripura will have LPG connection in 2019: Dharmendra Pradhan
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said that Tripura is country’s number one gas producing point and every poor household in the state will have LPG connection in 2019.
·         ONGC Tripura has recorded its highest ever production at 4.96 MMSCMD (Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter Per Day). The ONCG will fulfil all the energy requirement of the state with regard to power plants, domestic industries, transportation and domestic fuel.
IIT-Delhi scientists create ‘DotBook’, India’s first Braille laptop for visually-impaired

The alumnus and researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi have created a laptop for visually-impaired. In what they claim to be a first in the country, the laptop has an interface in form of dots or Braile instead of a visual one. The researchers have named it ‘DotBook’.
·        Instead of a screen, the laptop displays embossed text in Braille through a touchpad. Users get to feel everything a website has by touching the pad.

7th RCEP inter-sessional ministerial meeting held in Cambodia
Commerce ministers of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries including India and China held a crucial meeting in Cambodia. The 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) bloc aims to cover among the issues related to goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights. The meet saw bilateral sessions and an opening ceremony attended by Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen.
·        Extra info.:
Cambodia Capital: Phnom Penh
Currency: Riel

About RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the 6 Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
Wrestler Bajrang Punia wins gold in Bulgaria
India’s star wrestler Bajrang Punia has won a gold medal in 65 kilogram freestyle in Bulgaria. The tournament, Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov was held in Ruse, Bulgaria.
Pooja Dhanda wins gold in Bulgaria
Indian wrestler Pooja Dhanda claimed gold in the 59kg category in Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament held in Ruse, Bulgaria.
Roger Federer wins his 100th tour title
Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Championship as he defeated reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title. The 37-year-old is just the second player to accomplish this feat, joining Jimmy Connors who has tour-level title 109 times.
Former Chief Justice of Gauhati HC Ajit Singh appointed as first Lokayukta of Odisha
Former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Ajit Singh is appointed as the first Lokayukta of Odisha. Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal has approved his name following the recommendation of selection committee headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. 
·        Singh held the post of Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court till his retirement last year.
Indian-American teen awarded for invention to improve brain cancer treatment
Kavya Kopparapu, an Indian-American teenager has been conferred with the 2019 National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education Award for her ground-breaking invention designed to improve treatments for glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer.
Tripura’s tribal musician Thanga awarded first AB Vajpayee Life Time Achievement Award
Tripura’s Thanga Darlong, the last tribal musician to play Rosem a bamboo made a flute-like musical instrument, was conferred the Atal Behari Vajpayee Life Time Award during the 37th Agartala Book Fair in Agartala.   In January, the 99-year old tribal musician and music guru was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award for his contribution to the field of music.
4TH MARCH 2019
Kumbh enters Guinness Book of World Records
The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 has secured place in the Guinness Book of World Recordsfor the largest crowd management, largest sanitation drive and largest painting exercise of public sites. 
PM Modi inaugurates ordnance factory in Amethi
Indo-Russia Rifles Ltd. plant at Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Korwa in Amethi inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 7, 50,000 units of AK-103 assault rifles, the third generation of AK-47, will be produced at the OFB facility in UP. The production of the assault rifles under joint venture between Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern and OFB will be the biggest ever.
Cabinet approves ‘Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana’
The Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana was approved by the Union Cabinet for providing financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock. The Cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The JI-VAN Yojana will be supported with total financial outlay of Rs 1969.50 crore for the period from 2018-19 to 2023-24.m  The scheme focuses to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support this nascent industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research and Development in the area.
HRD Ministry launches Rs 250 Crore scheme ‘STARS’ to fund Science Projects
The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar launched STARS – Scheme for Translational and Advanced Research in Science to fund science projects. The ministry has approved funds worth Rs 250 crore for the scheme. These funds will be utilised to sponsor about 500 science projects.  The project will be coordinated by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
Ayushman Bharat and Uber ink partnership for providing free healthcare for drivers
A ride-sharing company has partnered with the government’s flagship healthcare insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, to facilitate free healthcare for several drivers associated with the firm. The National Health Authority (NHA), the apex body implementing the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) has inked an MoU with Uber. 
Assam’s Hailakandi district has shot up to number one from the 52nd position, among the aspirational districts of the country, a new report released by the Niti Aayog said.
Himachal to set up 100 trout farms
Himachal Pradesh will develop 100 trout farms for production of carp fish this year. It will provide employment to over 550 people. The government plans to set up two trout hatcheries under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to provide seeds. A smoked trout and fillet canning centre would also be set up in the Kullu district.
Uttarakhand to set up centre of excellence for Himalayan fibre
The Uttarakhand government has decided to set up a centre of excellence for Himalayan fibre in Almora district of Kumaon. The centre of excellence will be set up with support from the Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA)- Ghaziabad. NITRA, which comes under the Union Ministry of Textile, will set up a training institute for developing fibre products at the Centre.
CISF sets Guinness Record for Longest Single Line Cycle Parade
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) created the Guinness World Record for ‘longest single line bicycle parade (moving)’ at the Yamuna Expressway, Noida. CISF personnel rode 1,327 bicycles non-stop in a single line, maintaining a uniform distance between the bicycles.  The record was earlier held by Hubballi Bicycle Club of India, with 1,235 bicycles in a single chain.

RBI imposes penalties on IDBI, Dena Bank
The Reserve Bank has imposed a monetary penalty of 2 crore on Dena Bank and 1 crore on IDBI Bank for non-compliance with various directions. Dena Bank said the Reserve Bank has imposed a penalty of Rs 20 million on it for non-compliance with the directions.  In a separate filing, IDBI Bank said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a   monetary penalty of 10 million on the Bank for contravention of its regulatory directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT related operational controls.
RBI levies Rs 4-crore fine on Karnataka Bank
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has levied a penalty of Rs 4 crore on Karnataka Bank for delayed implementation of four “Swift” related operational controls. The Reserve Bank of India, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 46 and 47A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 has levied an aggregate penalty of Rs 40 million on the Bank for delayed implementation of four of the Swift-related operational controls.  
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system is a messaging network used by banks and other financial institutions globally to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.SWIFT Headquarters:La Hulpe, Belgium
India tops Global Consumer Confidence Survey
The global consumer confidence in India is at peak. This was revealed in the latest Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, which is conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. India had a Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) score of 133 in the fourth quarter of 2018 edging past the Philippines (131) and Indonesia (127).
IDBI Bank gets govt nod to handle import, export transactions with Iran
The IDBI Bank has received government nod to handle import and export transactions with Iran, a move which would help in promoting two-way trade amid US sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation. US President Donald Trump had in May last year withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation.IDBI Bank has been identified to route the payments. UCO Bank had in the previous round of sanctions handled rupee payments.
Dhoni joins Sachin, Sourav, Dravid in elite group
Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become only the fourth Indian batsman to complete 13,000 runs in List A cricket. Dhoni has amassed 13,054 runs in 412 List A matches at an average of 50.79.   The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has joined an elite club, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
Macky Sall elected as Senegal’s President for the second term
Senegalese President Macky Sall has won re-election without the need for a second round of voting, giving him five more years in office. Sall, the incumbent president ultimately received 58.27 percent of the vote. 
·        Senegal has long been a democratic example in West Africa where coups and clinging to power used to be all too common.  Senegal Capital: Dakar   Currency: Franc
Bhagwan Lal Sahni appointed Chairman of the National Commission for Backward Classes
Bhagwan Lal Sahni, a BJP leader from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, has assumed charge as the chairman of the newly constituted National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). BJP leader and former Varanasi mayor Kaushalendra Singh Patel, BJP national secretary and former MP Sudha Yadav from Haryana, and Telangana BJP general secretary Achary Talloju have been appointed as members of the commission.  The NCBC was given constitutional status by Parliament last year, after repealing the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993. 
NCBC Headquarters: New Delhi
AN Jha replaces Shaktikanta Das as 15th Finance Commission Member
Ajay Narayan Jha joined the 15th Finance Commission as its member. He joins in place of Shaktikanta Das who had resigned as a member of the Commission after being appointed as governor, Reserve Bank of India. Jha had also served as the secretary to the 14th Finance Commission which was headed by former RBI Governor Y V Reddy.
Bezbaruah reappointed as Chairman of Tea Board
The Commerce Ministry has reappointed P K Bezbaruah as the chairman of Tea Board for a period of three years. Bezbaruah, the owner of Bokahola Tea Company in Assam, was earlier appointed as chairman of Tea Board as its first non-IAS officer .    Bezbaruah was also instrumental in initiating a revamp of the old electronic auctioning system. The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore has been assigned to do the task.

World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day is a campaign held each year by Office of Prevention of Blindness and Deafness of the World Health Organization (WHO). Activities take place across the globe and an event is hosted at the World Health Organization on March 3rd.  The campaign’s objective is to share information and promote actions towards the prevention of hearing loss and improved hearing care. The theme of the campaign for 2019 is “Check your hearing”.
World Wildlife Day
The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), working in partnership to facilitate the global celebration of the United Nations World Wildlife Day 2019which is celebrated on 3 March.  The theme of the day is- ‘Life below water: for people and planet’.
5TH MARCH 2019
Modi launches ‘One Nation, One Card’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “One Nation, One Card” programme to ensure seamless travel across the country. The card can be used for payments across different segments, including Metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking and retail purchases.  The Indigenous Automatic Fare Collection System based on the “One Nation, One Card” model, for example the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), is the first of its kind in India.
Delhi tops list of most polluted cities in Greenpeace study
Delhi has topped the list of the most polluted cities in the world in a recent study conducted by environment NGO Greenpeace India. New Delhi was ranked first among 62 polluted cities in the report, Global Air Pollution 2018.  The report accompanies an extended online interactive display of the world’s most polluted cities, allowing further exploration of air quality across different regions and subregions in 2018.
ICICI Bank buys 9.9% in NBFC Kisan Finance for Rs 18cr
ICICI Bank said it has acquired 9.9 per cent stake in non-banking finance company Kisan Finance for cash consideration of Rs 17.82 crore. The acquisition is expected to be over by the end of March 2019.Kisan Rural Finance Ltd (Kisan Finance), was incorporated in December 2017. 
India collaborates with four nations to protect Asian rhinos
India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent. The five rhino range nations signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting in New Delhi. 
GSI sets up 22 GPS stations across country
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) launched 22 permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities. The GSI has taken a stride to establish and maintain a network of continuously operating 35 permanent GPS stations in a phased manner. So far, 22 GPS permanent stations have been set up and another 13 will be operational by March 2020.  These stations are meant to delineate high strain zones for earthquake probability, determine a seismic motion on faults that may lead to a rupture and produce thematic maps with high positional accuracy.
ISRO unveils ‘Young Scientist’ programme to train students in space science
State-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced the launch of its Young Scientist programme to train class 9 students in space technology and its applications. ISRO has launched the special programme for school children ‘Yuva Vigyani Karyakram’ (Young Scientist programme) to impart basic knowledge on space technology, space science and applications to the young ones to arouse their interest in space activities.
Tripura announces ‘Notun Disha’ to assess academic level of school students
In a bid to improve the educational status of Tripura, the state government announced ‘Notun Disha’ (New Direction), an initiative aimed at assessing the academic level of students between class III-VIII.  Notun Disha is aimed at making all students efficient and capable in all subjects. It is necessary to know the current educational level of students to fulfil this objective. 
Historic Guinness World Record in Yoga Made in Hong Kong
Taking the Yoga Day initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the next level, the Overseas President of BJP for Hong Kong & China, Sohan Goenka conducted a Japan Auction House Guinness World Record in Yoga. The first of its kind in the history of Hong Kong; beating the previous record of 387, more than 1011 yoga practitioners attempted Virabathrasan (Warrior II Pose) for 3 minutes in one place and achieved the Guinness World Record at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Hong Kong.

LIC Housing Finance partners with India Mortgage Guarantee Corp
LIC Housing Finance (LICHFL) partnered with India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC)to offer home buyers enhanced loan eligibility and easy loans. This strategic tie-up will help the LICHFL accommodate more home loan borrowers and increase market penetration, besides combating NPAs .IMGC will provide it with mortgage guarantee which is a kind of financial product that compensates financial institutions for losses that may arise from a default on a mortgage loan.
China sets 2019 GDP growth target at 6-6.5%
China lowered its economic growth target for this year to between 6 per cent and 6.5 per cent. Opening the annual session of China’s legislature, Premier Li Keqiang laid out plans to fend off risks in the economy and keep the nation’s jobless rate steady. Li nodded to the “uncertainties of the China-US trade friction” that weigh on growth and the negotiations for a resolution.

India’s doubles badminton coach Tan Kim Her resigns
Malaysia’s Tan Kim Her has stepped down from his post as India’s doubles badminton coach. The 47-year-old put down his papers one-and-a-half years before his contract with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) was to end after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Randhir Singh appointed coordination committee chairman of 2022 Asian Games
Veteran Indian sports administrator Randhir Singh has been appointed as the chairman of the Coordination Committee of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games by the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
Sheikh Ahmad re-elected as President of Olympic Council of Asia
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has been re-elected president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for an eighth term despite being embroiled in a forgery case brought by Swiss investigators. The long-serving Kuwaiti, a powerful ally of International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach, was re-elected unanimously at the OCA general assembly in Bangkok. 
Anil Kumble reappointed as chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee
Leg spin great Anil Kumble has been reappointed as the chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee for a final three year term. Kumble has been the chairman of the committee since 2012.
Indian Bank receives Best Bank Award
Public sector Indian Bank has bagged the Best Bank Award from the Tamil Nadu governmentfor meeting the needs of women’s self-help groups (SHGs).  At a function in Salem recently, Chief Minister of the state K Palaniswami handed over the award to the executive director of the bank M K Bhattacharya.   Indian Bank Headquarters: Chennai
TVS Motor wins international sustainability award
TVS Motor Company recently bagged the ‘Green Era Award for Sustainability’ at Lisbon in Portugal. The two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer also won the ‘Quality and Business Excellence Award’ for its endeavour to create new benchmarks in product quality.

National Safety Day
National Safety Day is a Day which is used to make every people get safe from many issues such as Financial Loss, Health problems and also any types of problems in the life of the citizens. It is celebrated on the 4th March every year in India by the National Safety Council of India.   National Safety Day is used to build a better knowledge in the minds of the people for getting every kind of security when they are in the problem.
World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation
March 4 is observed as World Day of Fight Against Sexual Exploitation every year since 2009, to create awareness against sexual exploitation, which overwhelmingly involves women and children. The UNICEF estimates that more than 3 million children worldwide are affected by prostitution.
World Civil Defence Day
World Civil Defence Day is celebrated every year on 1st March to bring attention of the world public about the importance of Civil protection and to pay tributes to the efforts, sacrifices and accomplishments of all the services responsible to fight against disasters.  International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) decided to celebrate this day in 1990. The theme of World Civil Defence Day 2019 is “Children’s safety, our responsibility”.
6TH MARCH 2019
Rajnath Singh inaugurates smart fencing project in Assam
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) on Indo-Bangladesh border in Dhubri district of Assam.
 ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum inaugurated at Red Fort
The ‘Azaadi ke Diwane’ museum dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle was inaugurated at the Red Fort premises. The Museum is built by theArchaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Museum is part of Kranti Mandir Series to inspire the younger generation and to let them know the cost of freedom that the great fighters achieved by sacrificing their lives.
India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 25.2 Million
The World Bank and the Government of India has signed a USD 25.2 Million Loan Agreement to support Chhattisgarh Public Financial Management and Accountability Program.  The programs is the First Bank-Financed State-Level Project in Chhattisgarh to support the State’s Reforms in Expenditure Management, covering issues like Expenditure Planning, Investment Management, Budget Execution, Public Procurement and Accountability.
World Bank to give Rs 2,200 cr for Andhra healthcare project
The World Bank will provide Rs 2,200-crore loan to Andhra Pradesh for a project aimed at strengthening the state’s overall healthcare systems. The Central and state governments and the World Bank signed the loan agreement for a $328-million project to improve the quality and responsiveness of public health services and increasing access of population to an expanded package of primary health services.  The AP Health Systems Strengthening Project (APHSSP) will be implemented in the state with a focus on improved quality of care, improved responsiveness of public health services and increased access to an expanded package of primary health services, said the state government.
India has seven of the world’s 10 cities with worst air pollution
A new study now finds that India accounts for seven of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution. On the other hand, Chinese cities have seen a marked improvement. According to the study, Gurugram is the world’s most polluted city. The study was conducted by Greenpeace and AirVisual, and found Gurugram had an average air quality index of 135.8 in 2018 almost three times the level which the US Environmental Protection Agency regards as healthy.   According to the study, the problem is particularly pronounced in South Asia. Eighteen of the world’s top 20 most populated cities are in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. These include major population centres of Lahore, Delhi and Dhaka, which placed 10th, 11th and 17th respectively.
Rs 14,467 cr jewellery park to come up in Navi Mumbai
An ultra-modern and high-tech gems and jewellery park will be developed at a cost of Rs 14,467 crore on a 21-acre complex in Navi Mumbai. It is likely to be ready by 2022.  Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis laid the foundation stone of the proposed India Jewellery Park (IJP) in the presence of Industry Minister Subhash Desai and Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman P.K. Agarwal.
Aircraft spares production hub to come up in Konkan: Prabhu
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that an aircraft components manufacturing hub would be set up in Maharashtra’s coastal Konkan region and would boost employment opportunities for the local youth.  Besides, he said that youth of both sexes will be specially trained for getting suitable jobs in the aviation sector, including the planned aircraft components hub, while inaugurating the Sindhudurg Airport at Chipi with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT- Automatic Fare Collection Gating System
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence public sector undertaking, presented SWAGAT – the Automatic Fare Collection Gating System. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the system as part of the inaugural of Phase I of the Ahmedabad Metro.  SWAGAT is an initiative steered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with BEL and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI).
Kylie Jenner becomes world’s youngest self-made billionaire
Kylie Jenner was named the youngest self-made billionaire of all time by Forbes magazine.Jenner, 21, the half-sister of reality television stars Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, made it onto the annual Forbes list of billionaires after debuting her Kylie Cosmetics online in 2015 .     Forbes said she was both the world’s youngest billionaire and also the youngest self-made billionaire ever. The richest person in the world remained Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, whose net worth increased to $131 billion from $112 billion in 2018.    Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates remained in the No. 2 position while Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped three places to No. 8.

SBI, Hitachi arm to roll out digital payments platform
State Bank of India (SBI) and Hitachi Payment Services Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, launched their merchant-acquiring joint venture, SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBIPSPL), in Mumbai, for establishing a digital payments platform for India and other countries in the region.
RBI to inject durable liquidity worth Rs 12,500 cr
Based on an assessment of prevailing liquidity conditions and also of the durable liquidity needs going forward, the Reserve Bank has decided to conduct purchase of Government securities under Open Market Operations for an aggregate amount of Rs 125 billion through multi-security auction using the multiple price method.   The financial sector has been facing liquidity crunch for more than four months since theInfrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) defaulted in its payment obligations, triggering reluctance among lenders to lend to the NBFC sector.
World Bank-India ink $250-mn pact to boost rural income
The World Bank and the Government of India signed a $250-million agreement for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) focused on promoting “women-owned and women-led” farm and non-farm enterprises.
Mumbai world’s 16th most costly prime residential market: Report
Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, is the 16th most expensive prime residential market in the world, a Knight Frank report said. The Maharashtra capital is the only Indian city to feature in the global top 20 list of expensive prime residential markets recorded in The Wealth Report 2019.  Delhi (55th) and Bengaluru (56th) fared better than Mumbai with a 1.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent price appreciation, respectively, according to the Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index.   The Philippines’ capital Manila topped the global list with the highest price appreciation of 11.1 per cent last year, followed by Edinburgh (Scotland) in second position with 10.6 per cent rise.  Singapore was the only Asian city after Manila to feature in the top-ten list, with a price appreciation of 9.1 per cent.

Srikanth 8th in BWF World rankings
India’s Kidambi Srikanth has been placed at the eighth spot in the men’s singles list in the latest BWF world rankings release recently. Kento Momota of Japan is at the top spot.
Indore bags Swachh Survekhshan Award 2019 for being the cleanest city
Indore in Madhya Pradesh bagged the title of India’s cleanest city in the central government’s cleanliness survey for the third consecutive year. New Delhi Municipal Council area got the cleanest small city award while Uttarakhand’s Gauchar was adjudged Best Ganga Town in the survey.  The Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019 were conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at a brief ceremony in New Delhi. These cleanliness awards are given by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
7TH MARCH 2019
CCEA approves investment approval for 1320 megawatt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant in Bulandshahar
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the investment approval for a 1320 megawatt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Bulandshahar of Uttar Pradesh. Eleven thousand eight nine crore rupees will be spent on the plant.   Investment approval for 1320 Mega Watt Buxar thermal Power Project in District Buxar of Bihar was also approved. The project will be completed at an estimated cost of ten thousand 439 crore rupees. The Buxar Thermal Power Project will improve the deficit power scenario in Bihar and Eastern Region. It will start yielding benefit from 2023-24.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates BOLD-QIT project in Assam
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam. Border Security Force, BSF is responsible for safeguarding of over four thousand kilometer long International Border with Bangladesh.     The implementation of this project will not only help BSF to curb all types of cross border crimes but also provide respite to the troops from round the clock human surveillance.
Rajnath Singh inaugurates CRPF training centre in Jodhpur
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a training centre of the Central Reserve Police Force at Paladi Khinchiyan village in Jodhpur. He inaugurated it remotely from New Delhi. Spread over 175 acres, training can be provided to 1,600 security personnel at the centre every year.      
Smriti Irani inaugurates refurbished Handloom Haat in Delhi
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the refurbished Handloom Haat at Janpath in New Delhi. The main objective of the Haat is to provide infrastructure support to handloom agencies to augment their sales of handloom products and to showcase the exquisite variety of products produced all over the country.  These projects are being set up in the building by National Institute of Fashion Technology, NIFT which will help handloom sector in production of handloom products as per market requirement in terms of trends, design and colour forecast.
National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation to be set up at Sehore in Madhya Pradesh
SmtShakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment laid the foundation stone of the ‘National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation’ at Sherpur Village in District Sehore, Madhya Pradesh.  This Institute will be first of its kind in the country. The Central Government has approved an outlay of Rs 180 crore for this project for an initial period of three years.
96.5% of households in rural India have access to toilet: NARSS
The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey, NARSS 2018-19 has found that 96.5 per cent of the households in rural India have access to a toilet. The survey was conducted by an Independent Verification Agency under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).   The survey also re-confirmed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status of over 90 per cent of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF by various districts and States.
India signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 96 Million for Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project
India signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for 96 Million US dollars for additional financing of Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery ProjectThe World Bank has been supporting the State Government since 2014 to restore housing and rural connectivity and to build the resilience of communities.The additional financing of 96 million US dollars will further help in the reconstruction of bridges, road and river bank protection works in the state.
Korea Exim Bank to give Rs 4,100 cr loan for Vizag Metro
Korea Exim Bank has come forward to extend a Rs 4,100 crore loan for Visakhapatnam Metro Rail project. A team of officials from Korea Exim Bank called on Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary A.C. Punetha in Amaravati and discussed the loan proposal and related issues.
Chennai Central Station to be renamed after MGR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Chennai Central Railway Station will be renamed after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR. In Kancheepuram, the Prime Minister inaugurated a number of developmental projects in roadways, railways, and energy sector. These projects are meant to further strengthen the roadway and railway infrastructure in the state paving way for better, faster and cheaper transportation for people in Tamil Nadu.
HP to build Centre of Excellence for 3D printing in Andhra Pradesh
HP Inc India has signed a pact with with Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society (APIS) and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) to build a Center of Excellence (CoE) that would 3D printing technology work. HP would bring in its global 3D printing expertise to support various training programmes at the CoE. 
Google launches reading tutor app ‘Bolo’ for kids in India
Google launched a free app called “Bolo” that parents can download to help primary grade children improve their Hindi and English reading skills. Launched in India first, the app is designed to work offline and comes with a built-in reading buddy, “Diya“, who encourages, aids, explains, and corrects the child, as they read aloud. 
Hi-tech traffic management & surveillance centre set up in Raipur
The Chhattisgarh government has set up a hi-tech ‘integrated command and control centre’ in Raipur for better traffic management and surveillance in the city. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the ‘Daksha‘ project under which the centre has been built.  Set up at a cost of Rs 157.70 crore as part of the Raipur Smart City initiative, the project will take care of safety and security, traffic management, public communication, and also to keep the city environment green.
Janaushadhi Diwas being celebrated across the country
Janaushadhi Diwas celebrated across the country on 7 March. Prime Minister Narendra Modiaddressed five thousand Janaushadhi stores across the country through video-conferencing on the occasion. He also interacted with owners of Janaushadhi Kendras and beneficiaries of the scheme. More than five thousand 50 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras, PMBJP, are functional in 652 districts.  The Janaushadhi Kendras are providing quality medicine at the affordable price. He said the government’s aim is to open Janaushadhi Kedras at block level by 2020.
Daaji’s new book on how to design one’s destiny
Spiritual teacher Kamlesh Patel, popularly known as Daaji, addresses key issues related to destiny and how it shapes one’s life in his new book. In “Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way”, the author provides practical wisdom on how to use heartfulness practices to refine lifestyle and design destiny, including destiny in the afterlife.  In the book, brought out by Westland Publications, Daaji shares how beliefs determine the relative importance of fate and free will in people’s lives.

Jio propels Mukesh Ambani to 13th spot in Forbes’ billionaire list
The phenomenal growth of Reliance Jio, backed by its ultra-cheap data plans that has transformed the telecom scenario in India, has helped Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani move six places up to rank 13th in US magazine Forbes’ “World’s Billionaire list 2019”. Others in the top-100 billionaires’ list include Wipro Chairman Azim Premji at rank 36th, followed by HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar at 82nd spot and ArcelorMittal chairman Lakshmi Mittal at 91st position.  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos continued to remain the world’s richest man with a net worth of $131 billion, followed by Bill Gates at $96.5 billion and Warren Buffett at $82.5 billion.

Kyrgios beats Zverev to win Acapulco title
Australian Nick Kyrgios stunned German second seed Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4 to win the Acapulco International in Mexico for his fifth career ATP title. 

Sanjeev Ranjan named Road Transport Secretary & N N Sinha appointed as NHAI Chief
Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Ranjan has been named secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the central government. Ranjan, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Tripura cadre, is at present the chairman of National Highways Authority of India.  Nagendra Nath Sinha will replace Ranjan as the new NHAI chief. Sinha is managing director, National Highways and infrastructure Development Corporation. He will continue to hold the additional charge of this post too.
Ajit Kumar Mohanty appointed Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
The Ministry of Personnel has notified the appointment of Ajit Kumar Mohanty as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre for the period of three years. Currently, he is the Director, Physics Group in BARC and Director, Saha Institute Institute of Nuclear Physics.  The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is India’s premier nuclear research facility headquartered in Trombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Kaja Kallas appointed as the first female prime minister of Estonia
Kaja Kallas was appointed as first female Prime Minister of Estonia. She is leader of country’s Reform Party. Her appointment comes after her liberal Reform Party was declared victoriois in the elections against centre-left Prime Minister Juri Ratas’s party. 
Estonia Capital: Tallinn
Currency: Euro
8TH MARCH 2019
India signs pact with Russia on Chakra-3 attack submarine
Amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan, India signed a $3.3 billion deal with Russia for leasing the third nuclear-powered Akula class attack submarine. An Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed between the two countries in New Delhi. The submarine, to be called Chakra -3, will be delivered in 2025 for a 10-year period.  India at the moment operates Chakra-2 whose 10-year lease ending in 2022. INS Chakra is a nuclear-powered submarine and unlike INS Arihant, the other nuclear submarine in Indian navy fleet.
Government announces new Rs 20 coin
In a first, the government has announced new Rs 20 coin which will be shaped like a 12-edged polygon (dodecagon). The outside diameter of new Rs 20 coin will be 27mm (millimeters) and it will weigh 8.54 grams. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the new series of “visually impaired friendly circulation” coins (Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20).Except for the Rs 20 coin, the rest of the denominations will be round in shape.  The face of the coin will bear the Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar with the legend “Satyamev Jayate” inscribed below, flanked on the left periphery with the word “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery with the word “INDIA” in English.
Cabinet clears Rs 4,500 cr plan for regional air connectivity
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for extension of time and scope for revival and development of unserved and underserved air strips of state governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI)civil enclaves, central public sector undertakings (CPSUs), helipads and water aerodromes at the total cost of Rs 4,500 crore with the budgetary support of government of India.
Hardeep S Puri launches e-Dharti App
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri launched e-Dharti app where all the three modules- Conversion, Substitution and Mutation related to properties have been made online. The payment system in Land and Development Office, L&DO has also been completely digitized.  The public can now submit their applications online by visiting the L&DO website and are not required to visit this office for submission of them and for follow up of their applications. He also launched e-Dharti GeoPortal, through which the lessee of the property will be able to see the basic details of property along with map showing its location.
All trains coming to Delhi to be on electric traction from December 2019: Piyush Goyal
All trains coming to Delhi will be on electric traction by December 2019 said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The move will cost the government Rs 12,134 crore. Further, in the next 2.5 years, all mail express trains and Rajdhani trains will have bio-toilets with air vacuum cleaning system similar to that in airplanes.
MEA opens 500th Passport Seva Kendra
The countrys 500th Passport Kendra has been made operational at Pratapgarh in Rajasthan. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in collaboration with the Department of Posts, had in 2017 taken the initiative to open Passport Kendras at the head post offices/post offices in the country, to be known as “Post Office Passport Seva Kendras” (POPSK).
India’s February jobless rate climbed to 7.2%: CMIE
The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9% in February 2018, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The unemployment rate has climbed despite a fall in the number of job seekers.  The number of employed persons in India was estimated at 400 million in February compared with 406 million a year ago.
Odisha CM launches ‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ scheme
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ scheme in Bhubaneswar. The state government will provide Rs 800 monthly allowance to craftsmen with over 10 years of experience and annual income below Rs 1 lakh under the‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ scheme.
Delhi Government Launches ‘One Delhi’ App
To ease the use of public transport in the nation capital, the Delhi government launched a common mobility app ‘One Delhi’ to allow users plan more efficiently their journey with Delhi Metro and all city buses. The app was developed by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System, or DIMTS.
Assam sets up North East Skill Centre in Guwahati
The Assam government in collaboration with the Singapore-based ITE Education Services (ITEES) set up the North East Skill Centre (NESC) in Guwahati. The NSESC will aim to provide better skill training to thousands of unemployed youth of the state.
Ancient tribal language Gondi to be taught in tribal districts of MP
In Madhya Pradesh, ancient tribal language Gondi will be taught in tribal districts. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has decided to include Gondi in the primary education curriculum of the state’s tribal-dominated districts.
Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns as Mizoram Governor, Jagdish Mukhi given additional charge
Kummanam Rajasekharanthe Governor of Mizoram resigned from his office and President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation. President Kovind has given Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi additional charge of Mizoram. Rajasekharan’s tenure as Mizoram Governor lasted for less than 10 months.
Malaysia joins the International Criminal Court
Malaysia has become a member of the International Criminal Court. The ICC is the world’s only permanent war crimes court and aims to prosecute the worst abuses when national courts are unable or unwilling.  Malaysia becomes the 124th member of the court since its establishment in 2002.   International Criminal Court Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands

Income tax exemption limit on gratuity doubled to Rs 20 lakh
The labour ministry said that the income tax exemption limit on gratuity has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from the existing Rs 10 lakh, a move that will benefit employees who are not covered by the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.   The ceiling of gratuity amount under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, has been raised from time to time keeping in view overall economic condition and employers’ capacity to pay and the salary of employees, which have been increased in private sector and in PSUs.   The latest enhancement of tax exemption limit on gratuity follows a government notification issued on March 29, 2018, under which the ceiling was increased from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh effective March 29, 2018.

OECD cuts global economic growth forecasts
The OECD cut forecasts again for the global economy in 2019 and 2020, following on from previous downgrades in November, as it warned that trade disputes and uncertainty over Brexit would hit world commerce and businesses. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development forecast in its interim outlook report that the world economy would grow 3.3 percent in 2019 and 3.4 percent in 2020.
AU Small Finance Bank partners with Insurtech Firm Acko General Insurance
AU Small Finance Bank Ltd. , a Fortune India 500 company and one of India’s fastest growing banks, announced its partnership with a new age insurtech company, Acko General Insurance Limited. Partnering with Acko, India’s first digital insurer, AU bank is now set to provide customized insurance products to its customers.  Based on user behavior data, Acko’s solution is designed to offer contextual insurance, enabling AU to deliver tailor-made policies that offer the right coverage when the customer needs it.   AU Small Finance Bank Headquarters: Jaipur
Acko General Insurance Headquarters: Mumbai
Nasscom to develop IT corridor in eastern China
Indian IT apex body Nasscom said it has entered into a partnership with Xuzhou city in Jiangsu province to develop an IT corridor in eastern China. The new corridor will facilitate partnerships between Indian and Chinese firms as part of Nasscom’s efforts to evangelise IT development in newer geographies. As the centre of the Huai Hai economic zone, Xuzhou is an important national transportation hub.

Soumya Swaminathan named Chief Scientist at WHO
Soumya Swaminathan, a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation has been named Chief Scientist of the WHO. As Deputy Director-General Programmes (DDP), she was one of the three DDGs assisting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
UNDP appoints Padma Lakshmi as Goodwill Ambassador
Indian-American television personality and food expert Padma Lakshmi has been appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its newest Goodwill Ambassador, supporting the agency’s fight against inequality and discrimination around the world.
IGIA declared as ‘Best Airport’ in 2018 ASQ Awards
The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in New Delhi has been adjudged as the best airport in the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) in Asia Pacific by Airports Council International (ACI) in the Airport Service Quality Programme for 2018.

Jerry Merryman, Co-Inventor of the Pocket Calculator passes away
Jerry Merryman, a self-taught electrical engineer who helped design the first pocket calculator, passed away in Dallas. He was 86. Merryman helped to develop the calculator in the mid-1960s while he was working for American technology company Texas Instruments (TI) alongside James Van Tassel and his boss Jack Kilby co-creator of the first integrated circuit and Nobel Prize winner.

International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements from the political to the social while calling for gender equality.    The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of “Think Equal ,Build Smart,Innovate for change: BalanceForBetter” is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.
9TH MARCH 2019
ISRO, French space agency seal agreement on maritime security
National space agency ISRO and its French counterpart The National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) sealed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in the country in May. The two nations will explore putting up a constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites that will identify and track movement of ships globally and in particular those moving in the Indian Ocean region where France has its Reunion Islands.   CNES Headquarters: Paris, France
India, World Bank And Representatives Of 5 States Signed Loan Agreement For DRIP
The World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of 5 States of Government of India and Implementing Agencies signed in New Delhi the Loan Agreement for Additional Financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). 
World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Membership: 189 countries
India and ADB Sign $26 Million Loan Agreement for Additional Financing to Assam Urban Project
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a USD 26-million loan as additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program. The ongoing loan of USD 51 million under the programme is helping to improve water supply infrastructure in Guwahati, and solid waste management and drainage infrastructure in Guwahati and Dibrugarh cities of Assam.   Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
President: Takehiko Nakao     Membership: 67 countries
7 crore LPG connections distributed under Ujjwala Yojana in 34 months
LPG connections distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana touched the 7 crore mark with Geeta Devi becoming the seventh crore beneficiary of the scheme. Launched in 2016, the flagship scheme has achieved this “milestone” in just 34 months.  The scheme was launched on May 1, 2016, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an initial target of five crores, which was later revised upward to eight crores connections.
Uttarakhand CM launches free milk scheme for anganwadi children
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched the Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana in Dehradun, under which 2.5 lakh children at 20,000 Anganwadi kendras in the state will be given 100 ml milk twice a week for free.
WB CM announces new scheme ‘Yuvashree Arpan’ for employment of youth
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced a grant of 1 lakh to graduates of the state’s 214 polytechnics and Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), to set up small businesses. The CM introduced the scheme, Yuvashree Arpan, in Howrah district. 
Kerala’s Marayoor Jaggery Gets Geographical Indication Tag
The Marayoor Jaggery, the traditional and handmade product from Idukki district of Kerala received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Central Government. It is dark brown in colour, high in sweetness and iron, with less sodium content and insoluble impurities.
United Bank, HDFC Life sign bancassurance deal
United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company. Through this partnership, United Bank’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in life insurance products, distribution and customer service.  The corporate-agency partnership is significant as United Bank undertook a rigorous selection process and evaluated 18 private life insurers to finally select HDFC Life.

IRDAI, NHA form joint working group on Ayushman Bharat
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and National Health Agency (NHA) will set up a joint working group for better implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). The working group will do a comparative study of packages and define standards for quality healthcare.  The 11-member group will have representatives from both IRDAI and NHADinesh Arora, Deputy CEO of NHA will chair the working group.  IRDAI Headquarters: Hyderabad
Iniyan becomes India’s 61st Grandmaster
India got their 61st Grandmaster when 16-year-old P. Iniyan, hailing from Erode, won at the ongoing Noisiel Open in France. Iniyan defeated GM Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine in the sixth round to become the 61st Grandmaster for India as he crossed the 2500-point in ELO ratings.

SC Garg named Finance Secretary
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved designating Subhash Chandra Garg, IAS Secretary, Department of economics Affairs, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary. Garg would replace Ajay Narayan Jha, who got superannuated recently.
UN-founded University for Peace confers Honorary Doctorate on Vice President Naidu
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University for Peace founded by the United Nations Organisations (UNO) for his contribution “to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India”.

Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport wins the prestigious ASQ award
The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar has won the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award as the leading airport in size and region. The Airports Council International selected BPIA for the prestigious award. The award is accorded on the basis of independent survey amongst passengers on various parameters of security, safety, experience, ambience, ease of availability and cleanliness, Hota stated.
10th MARCH 2019
Maharashtra government launches ‘Atal Aahar Yojna’ for construction workers
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Maharashtra government launched a special scheme for construction workers in the state. The scheme, “Atal Aahar Yojna,” will provide good quality and hygienic food to construction workers at a highly subsidised rate.   In the first phase, the target is to cover 20,000 workers and provide them with good quality food at a nominal cost of Rs five.
Alok Srivastava to head committee on Comprehensive Insurance Scheme for Advocates
The government set up a five member committee headed by Legal Affairs Secretary Alok Srivastava to examine issues related to framing of a structured scheme for providing insurance cover to advocates. The committee would also suggest modalities for the implementation of such a scheme and would submit its report within three months. 
Businesses need to pay up to Rs. 20 for using Aadhaar services: UIDAI
Business organisations using Aadhaar services will now have to pay Rs. 20 for each customer verification and 50 paise for authentication of each transaction carried out by the entities, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said. The gazette notification, the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations 2019, however, exempts government entities and the Department of Posts from authentication transaction charges.
India Bags First Prize at The International ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019’ at ITB, Berlin
The Ministry of Tourism has won the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the prestigious international Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019. The awards were received by Tourism Secretary Yogendra Tripathi at ITB, Berlin.
11TH MARCH 2019
Japan announces Rs 22 lakh for Kolkata museum
The Japanese government announced a donation of some Rs 22 lakh ($31,800) to the Rabindra Bharati Museum in Kolkata in a bid to strengthen historical and cultural ties with India. To refurbish the Japan Gallery of the museum, a MoU will be signed between the Consul General of Japan in Kolkata, Masayuki Taga, and the Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury.
Supreme Court orders mediation to settle Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri dispute in 8 weeks
The Supreme Court has referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation and has appointed former apex court judge Justice (retd) F M I Kalifulla as chairperson of the panel of mediators.  A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
India’s data usage to grow at 73% CAGR by 2022: Assocham-PwC Study
India’s data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 72.6 per cent to 10,96,58,793 million MB by 2022, according to a study. “With lower-than-ever data tariffs and increasing number of smartphone penetration in the country, which is around 40 per cent as of 2017, it is safe to assume that the Video on Demand (VoD) market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India,” according to the Assocham-PwC study.  Assocham Headquarters: New Delhi

116-year-old Japanese woman officially named oldest person
116-year-old Japanese woman has been honoured as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records. The global authority on records officially recognised Kane Tanaka in a ceremony at the nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, in southwest Japan. She was born in January 1903.  The previous oldest living person was another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who passed away last July, aged 117.
In a first, SBI links pricing of loans, deposits to repo rate
In a first-of-its kind move that will ensure faster monetary transmission, the nation’s largest lender State Bank of India announced linking of its savings deposits rates and short-term loans to the RBI’s repo rate. The new rates linked the external benchmark rate of the repo rate, will be effective May 1.  It will link the savings bank deposits, with balance above Rs 1 lakh to the repo rate with current effective rate being 3.50 percent per annum, which is 2.75 percent below the present repo rate. The bank has also linked all cash credit accounts and overdrafts with limits above Rs 1 lakh to the repo rate plus a spread of 2.25 percent.
Kavinder Singh Bisht fetches gold at Finland boxing tourney
Kavinder Singh Bisht struck gold while Shiva Thapa and three others claimed silver medals to end a fine Indian campaign at the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki, Finland.Signing off with silver medals were three-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa, rookie Govind Sahani, Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin and Dinesh Dagar.

Ashu Khullar appointed as Citibank India CEO
Citigroup has named Ashu Khullar as the new India head after its current chief executive officer Pramit Jhaveri steps down. Khullar is currently the head of capital markets origination for the Asia-pacific region. Having joined Citi in 1988, he has worked across both developed and emerging markets in Europe, Middle East Africa and India.   Citibank Headquarters: New York
Mohammad Shtayyeh named as Palestinian PM
Mohammad Shtayyeh has been named as Palestinian Prime Minister by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. A member of the West Bank’s dominant Fatah party is a long time ally of Abbas.  Capitals: Ramallah, East Jerusalem
12TH MARCH 2019
34th edition of AAHAR – International Food and Hospitality fair-begins in New Delhi
The 34th edition of Aahar – the International Food and Hospitality Fair commenced in New Delhi. The five-day fair, organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation, ITPO, features wide range of food products, machinery, food and beverages equipment, hospitality and decor solutions, confectionery items from over 560 participants from India and foreign countries.  ITPO Headquarters: New Delhi

Indo-Oman joint military exercise, Al-Nagah-II, begins at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains
Exercise Al Nagah III, third in the series of bilateral joint exercise between India and Oman began at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman. The exercise will see both the armies exchanging expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling and firing, with an aim to enhance interoperability in counterterrorist operations in semi urban mountainous terrain.
·        Oman Capital: Muscat     Currency: Omani rial
Pinaka guided weapons system successfully test fired
The indigenously developed Pinaka guided rocket system was successfully test fired at Pokhran desert in Rajasthan, in a boost to artillery capability of the Army. The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising of an advanced navigation and control system.    DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi
Dipa Karmakar gets Barbie modelled after her
Gymnast Dipa Karmakar was honoured by ‘Barbie’ in celebration of their 60th anniversary and was presented a doll modelled after her. She was part of the ‘Shero’ program launched in 2015 by the company.    Dipa Karmakar was the first Indian female gymnast to ever compete in the Olympic Games and the first Indian female artistic gymnast to win a gold medal at a global event.
Arecanut gets its first GI tag for ‘Sirsi Supari’
Arecanut (also known as supari or betel nut) is the latest entrant in the list of agricultural produce with a GI (geographical indication) tag. The Registrar of Geographical Indications, Government of India, accorded a GI tag, ‘Sirsi Supari’, to arecanut grown in Sirsi, Siddpaur and Yellapur taluks of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Saudi Arabia replaces India as world’s largest arms importer
Saudi Arabia has now become the largest importer of arms in the world, having pushed Indiato the second spot, according to the premier Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In its report on ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018’ released recently, the institute identified Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and Algeria as the 5 top arms importing countries and the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China as the 5 top arms exporting nations.   for more than the last eight years, India was the largest arms importer in the international market.  Saudi Arabia Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal

RBI set to become 10th largest holder in gold
The Reserve Bank of India, which added 6.5 tonnes of gold to its reserves in January, taking its total holding forming part of its foreign exchange reserves to 607 tonnes, is set to become the tenth largest holder of the metal worldwide, displacing the Nerherlands.  According to data provided by the World Gold Council recently, India’s share of gold held globally has been rising steadily to stand at 6.2 per cent at the end of 2018 and has gone up further in January.

C Lalsawta sworn in as the 1st Lokayukta of Mizoram
Retired IAS officer C Lalsawta was sworn-in as the first Chairman of the newly-constituted Lokayukta in Mizoram. He was sworn-in at the Raj Bhawan in Aizawl. State governor Jagdish Mukhi administered the oath of office to Lalsawta.

13TH MARCH 2019
4th Internet of Things India Congress to be held in Bengaluru
The 4th IoT India Congress, an event which will see digital technology leaders converge to discuss and explore business opportunities in mainstreaming Internet of Things (IoT), will be held in Bengaluru in August 2019.
Sundarban Reserve Forest now a Wetland of International Importance
The Sundarban Reserve Forest (SRF) in India, located within the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans, is now a Wetland of International Importance, making it the largest protected wetland in the country. The wetland designation, India’s 27th, under the Ramsar Convention, will help increase the visibility of the region on international platforms as also enhance international co-operation between India and Bangladesh in the wise use of the wetlands.  Ramsar Convention is the only international treaty focused on wetlands. The last Indian site that was designated as a Wetland of International Importance was Gujarat’s Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary in 2012.
Erode turmeric gets GI tag after an 8-year process
After an eight-year-long process, Erode turmeric (of Tamil Nadu) finally got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indication Registry. The Erode Manjal Vanigargal Matrum Kidangu Urimaiyalargal Sangham applied for the GI tag in January, 2011, at the office of the Deputy Registrar of GI Registry in Chennai.
Delhi Government sets-up High-level Committee to reform Higher Education
The Delhi government’s Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), a think-tank that advises the government on key issues, has set up a 17-member high-level committee to“reform higher education” in the capital. The committee, chaired by DDC vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah, will “recommend goals, metrics, policies, and actionable plans for reforming Delhi’s higher education system within a year”.
Experts from India and University of Birmingham collaborate to tackle air pollution
Experts from the University of Birmingham and policy makers and researchers from Indiaannounced a collaboration to jointly develop strategies to resolve health, social and economic issues linked to air pollution in Delhi.
Rahul Bajaj to step down as Chairman, Non-Executive Director of Bajaj Finserv
Leading industrialist Rahul Bajaj will step down as the Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Bajaj Finserv. However, he will continue to serve the company as Chairman Emeritus. Vice-Chairman Nanoo Pamnani will take over as the new Chairman of Bajaj Finserv.  Bajaj Finserv Headquarters: Pune
GoDaddy partners with ICC as official sponsor for Cricket World Cup 2019
Website hosting company GoDaddy announced its partnership with International Cricket Council (ICC) as official sponsor for the upcoming men’s cricket World Cup. The 2019 World Cup will be held in the UK from May 30 to July 14.  Under the partnership, GoDaddy will get visibility on ground, perimeter of the boundary, side screen, placards during the matches.
India extends USD 250 mn to Nepal for reconstruction of infrastructures post earthquake
India has extended a grant assistance of up to USD 250 million to Nepal for the reconstruction of infrastructures in the areas of housing, education, health and cultural heritage that was destroyed during the devastating April 2015 earthquake which saw the death of over 9,000 people.
Pakistan made OIC body’s deputy chair
Pakistan has been elected deputy chairman of the PUIC’s general body on the first day of its four-day conference being held in Rabat, Morocco. The Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) is composed of parliaments of member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It was established in Iran on June 17, 1999, with its head office situatedin Tehran.   Earlier this month, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made history by becoming the first Indian invitee to an OIC summit, when she delivered an address at the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi.   OIC Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Bank of Baroda launches creche/daycare facility for children of employees
Bank of Baroda has become one of the first public sector banks to launch a creche/child daycare facility for children of its employees. After launching such a facility at its Mumbai corporate office in Bandra Kurla Complex which houses some 1500-plus employees, the bank intends to roll out more of them at its head office in Vadodara.   This initiative is designed to help employees save time and reduce stress of finding the right care for children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years. Bank of Baroda will bear 60% of the cost every month for each employee, while 40% will be taken care by the parents.

A K Misra appointed as Chairman of ASRB
Veterinary Professor & former Vice Chancellor of GB University of Agriculture & Technology Pantnagar, Shri Aditya Kumar Misra has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Agricultural Scientific Recruitment Board (ASRB). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the Misra’s appointment, who will hold the new post till 5th January, 2022.
Madhya Pradesh government appoints former MoS ‘Computer Baba’ as head of river trust
The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has appointed self-styled godman Namdev Tyagi, also known as Computer Baba, as chairman of a river trust in the State. The State spiritual department passed the order of appointing Mr. Tyagi as head of the ‘Ma Narmada, Ma Kshipra and Ma Mandakini Rivers Trust’ a few days back.
Makhija named new non-executive chairman of Axis Bank
Axis Bank announced appointment of Rakesh Makhija as its new non-executive, part-time, chairman. The appointment will be effective from July 18, 2019 till July 17, 2022. The term of non-executive, part-time Chairman Sanjiv Misra “will expire with effect from the close of business hours on July 17, 2019”.
Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan gets Yashwantrao Chavan national award
Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan has been chosen for the ‘Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018’ for his contribution towards economic development. Rajan will be presented the award at a function on the occasion of 106th birth anniversary of late Yashwantrao Chavan, who was the first chief minister of Maharashtra.
14TH MARCH 2019
India Smart Utility Week 2019 inaugurated by AK Bhalla
Conference and Exhibition on Smart Energy, Smart Grid and Smart Cities India Smart Utility Week (ISUW 2019) organized by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) was inaugurated by Shri AK Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India in New Delhi.
U.S. spl Ops Forces hold exercise with NSG in Hyderabad
The United States Special Forces Group stationed in Japan is involved in a joint exercise with India’s National Security Guard in Hyderabad, aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces of the two countries.   The Hyderabad-exercise would help build interoperability and comradeship between the two forces and was designed to enhance the capabilities of both Indian and U.S. armed forces.
Wipro opens third industrial IoT centre in Kochi
IT major Wipro Ltd opened its centre of excellence for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in Kochi in Kerala. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics, the centre will develop proofs of concept and market-ready IoT solutions.   The facility is Wipro’s third one dedicated to industrial IoT after one each in Mountain View in California and Bengaluru.

Austrian capital Vienna named ‘most liveable’ for 10th year
The Austrian capital Vienna has topped Mercer’s index of most liveable cities for the 10th year in a row, while Sydney has fallen out of the top ten. Being medium-sized, safe and relatively green are some of the features it shares with second-placed Zurich. Auckland, Munich and Vancouver came joint third.   Austria Capital: Vienna   Currency: Euro
SBI launches doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70
State Bank of India (SBI) has launched doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70 years of age and differently-abled customers. Eligible customers can avail this service at a nominal fee of Rs. 100 per transaction for financial transactions and Rs. 60 for non-financial transactions.Doorstep banking services are available to KYC- compliant account holders, with a valid mobile number registered with the bank and residing within 5 kilometres radius from their home branch.

Infosys to open digital centre in Romania
Infosys would open a digital innovation centre at Bucharest in Romania to develop software for clients based on cloud, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The $11-billion outsourcing firm also tied up with the University of Bucharest and the University Politehnica Bucharest for innovation and Romanian workforce development, including joint training courses, scholarships and research.    Romania Capital: Bucharest  Currency: Romanian leu

Special Olympics World Games 2019 begins at Abu Dhabi in UAE
Special Olympics World Games 2019 begin at Abu Dhabi in UAE. The event has already made history by welcoming a record-breaking 200 nations at the Games. Of the 200 nations, 195 will compete in the Games and five will observe. More than 2,500 women will fly the flag for their nation, with almost half of them performing in athletics competitions. Saudi Arabia will send female athletes for the first time, with 14 women participating.
Indian Oil retain Gold Cup Hockey crown
Indian Oil retained their Bombay Gold Cup Hockey crown after fighting back from the brink to overcome Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) 9-7 via the penalty shootout in the summit clash in Mumbai. 

MR Kumar appointed as LIC Chairman
The government appointed MR Kumar as the Chairman of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)and Vipin Anand and TC Suseel Kumar as the managing directors (MDs). MD Hemant Bhargava had been named interim chairman after VK Sharma’s retirement on December 31, 2018. LIC’s executive board comprises of one chairman and four managing directors.  This is the first time an interview for the top position of LIC was conducted by the Banks Board Bureau (BBB), which so far selected top management for public sector banks. Top executives for LIC were earlier appointed by a panel of the finance ministry.  
LIC Headquarters: Mumbai
Banks Board Bureau Chairperson: Bhanu Pratap Sharma

Army Chief Bipin Rawat receives PVSM from Prez Kovind
Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat was conferred with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal by President Ramnath Kovind for distinguished services. The medal was presented to Gen. Rawat at a Defence Investiture Ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were present on the occasion.
World Kidney Day 2019
March 14 is observed as World Kidney Day. The day is meant to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of kidneys. Every year, World Kidney Day is celebrated all across the globe, featuring awareness campaigns, programs and discussions about the importance of kidneys.
·        The theme of World Kidney Day 2019 is “Kidney health for everyone, everywhere.”
15TH MARCH 2019
DRDO anti-tank missile test-fired successfully
A man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) was successfully test-fired in Rajasthandesert. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The indigenously developed, low-weight missile operates on a “fire and forget” principle, which means it does not require guidance after the launch.  Extra info.:
DRDO Headquarter: New Delhi
India ranks 16th in terms of impacted species in hotspots
India was ranked 16th in the world in terms of highest number of impacted species in biodiversity-rich zones (also known as hotspots) due to human actions. In India, 35 species affected on an average in biodiversity-rich zones. Malaysia ranks first among countries with highest number of impacted species (on an average 125 species).
IIT Roorkee ties up with ISRO for space tech cell
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand said it tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up a Space Technology Cell at its campus. The ISRO-IIT Roorkee Space Technology Cell shall pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme. 
SC appoints P.S. Narasimha as mediator to resolve disputes of cricket administration in BCCI
The Supreme Court appointed senior advocate P.S. Narasimha, who is assisting the apex court as an amicus curiae in the BCCI matter, as mediator for resolving various disputes related to cricket administration in the country.

AfDB commits $25 bn to fight against climate change
The African Development Bank (AfDB) would provide 2.5 trillion shillings ($25 billion) over the next 5 years to help in the global fight against climate change. The bank currently provides 34 per cent of its overall lending portfolio to projects aiming to boost the fight against climate change.    Extra info.:  The African Development Bank President: Akinwumi Adesina     Headquarters: Tunis, Tunisia
India awards 200 Golden Jubilee Scholarships to Nepali students
The Embassy of India in Kathmandu awarded 200 Golden Jubilee Scholarships to meritorious Nepali students for continuing their studies in various undergraduate courses at different universities and colleges across Nepal for the academic year 2018-19.

RBI names SBI, ICICI and HDFC as systemically important banks
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) named State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bankas Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), which in other words mean banks that are too big to fail. As per the norms, these banks will have to set aside more capital for their continued operation. RBI comes with the list every year since 2015. Inclusion in D-SIB indicates that failure of any of these banks would have a cascading effect on Indian financial system.
RBI categorises IDBI Bank as private sector lender after LIC acquisition
IDBI Bank has been categorised as a private sector lender following acquisition of majority stake by Life Insurance Corporation. In January, LIC completed the process of picking up a controlling 51 per cent stake in the nearly crippled IDBI Bank.   IDBI Bank has been under the prompt corrective action framework of RBI that bans it from corporate lending and branch expansions, salary hikes and other regular activities.
RBI to swap $5 billion with banks to aid system liquidity
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offered a $5-billion swap facility to banks to aid liquidity before the end of the financial year. The auction will happen on March 26 and the buy/sell swap will run up to March 28, 2022, or for a three-year duration.   The swap facility is part of its “liquidity management toolkit” and would be to meet the durable liquidity needs of the system. The swap is in the nature of a simple buy/sell foreign exchange swap from the Reserve Bank’s side. A bank shall sell US dollars to the RBI and simultaneously agree to buy the same amount of US dollars at the end of the swap period.

TERI to set up incubation centre in Odisha for biotech solutions
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), one of country’s leading think-tanks, will set up an industrial incubation facility of TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Research Centre, in Odisha.The facility will support development of biotechnology solutions to address issues affecting agriculture, environment and energy.   Extra info.:
TERI Headquarters: New Delhi

S S Mundra appointed as chairman of Acuite Ratings
Acuite Ratings and Research said that former deputy RBI governor S S Mundra has been appointed as non-executive chairman to its board with immediate effect. In high four-decade long banking career, Mundra has served as Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India and as Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda.   Extra info.:  Acuite Rating CEO and Executive Director: Sankar Chakraborti
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to head transformative mobility mission
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will head the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, which is being set up to promote clean and sustainable mobility initiatives in the country. The Union Cabinet on March 7 had approved setting up of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.  The panel will also propose and recommend policy guidelines and government interventions and possible strategies for holistic, sustainable and transformative mobility and energy storage in India.

Indian social entrepreneur Padmanaban Gopalan wins Commonwealth award
A social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu bagged the Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region from among hundreds of nominations for his technology-based food rescue organisation. Padmanaban Gopalan, founder of No Food Waste, was named the winner of the award worth 3,000 pounds at a ceremony at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for his work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Zero Hunger with his innovative system of recovering excess food to distribute to those in need.
Seema Mehta bags ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ award
Renowned Kathak dancer Seema Mehta has been conferred the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ awardfor her contribution towards women empowerment over the last 15 years. She received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi as part of the Women’s Day celebrations.

Prominent Lingayat pontiff Maate Mahadevi passes away
Prominent Lingayat pontiff and Basava Dharma Peetha President Maate Mahadevi breathed her last at a private hospital. She was 74. Installed as ‘Jagadguru‘ in the 1970s, Maate Mahadevi established several educational and religious institutions and published several books.

World Consumer Rights Day
World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated every year on March 15. It is a day marked to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating World Consumer Rights Day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.
16TH MARCH 2019
National convention of ‘War Decorated India’ held in Chandigarh
The two-day national convention of War Decorated India began at the Manekshaw Auditorium in Chandimandir, the headquarters of the Western Command in Chandigarh.Some living gallantry award winners and relatives of the deceased awardees attended the Convention. Chief of Staff Western Command Lt General P.N. Bali addressed the convention.
Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship inaugurated in Gandhinagar
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and also presented the 10th Biennial National Grassroots Innovation Awards in Gandhinagar.  Mr. Prakash Singh Raghuvanshi of Uttar Pradesh got life time achievement award for his innovations in new varieties of agriculture crops. The first prize in Veterinary, Herbal medication for coccidiosis received by Periyasami Ramasami of Tamil Nadu.  
ECI launches ‘Observers app’ for important notifications, alerts, and urgent messages alert
The Election Commission launched a mobile application that will help poll observers to submit reports timely. Over 1800 IAS, IPS and IRS officials, officials of Central services will be deployed as observers in the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019 and State Assembly elections. Extra info.:
ECI Headquarters: New Delhi
GI tag for Coorg Arabica Coffee, four others
Geographical Indication (GI) tags have been granted to Coorg Arabica Coffee, Wayanad Robusta Coffee, Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee, Araku Valley Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee, by the Geographical Indications Registry.

4th UN Environment Assembly held in Kenya
The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, as agreed during UNEA-3 in December 2017. Under the overall theme‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production,’.
SBI launches cardless ATM withdrawal with YONO Cash
State Bank of India launched ‘YONO Cash’ for cardless withdrawal of cash at over 16,500 SBI ATMs across the country. With this facility, customers can initiate the cash withdrawal process on the YONO app and set a six-digit YONO Cash pin for the transaction. This feature on YONO is designed to help its users withdraw cash without a physical debit card.  They will also get a six digit reference number for the transaction on their registered mobile number via SMS. The cash withdrawal has to be completed within the next 30 minutes at the nearest ATMs using both PIN and the reference number received.
Bandhan Bank gets RBI approval for acquisition of Gruh Finance
Bandhan Bank said it has received no objection from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the proposed acquisition of Gruh Finance. Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm ofHDFC Ltd, was taken over in January by Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank in a share-swap deal. As part of the deal, Bandhan Bank has to transfer 14.9 per cent stake to HDFC for merging Gruh with itself.  The deal will allow Bandhan Bank’s promoter Bandhan Financial Holdings to come down to about 61 per cent from about 82 per cent, and HDFC to hold around 15 per cent in the merged entity from about 57 per cent in Gruh.  Extra info.:  Gruh Finance Ltd. Headquarters: Ahmedabad
Aviva Life Insurance launches Wings to empower women at the workplace
Aviva Life Insurance has announced the launch of ‘Wings’, a specially designed mentorship program to empower the female workforce. The program is an initiative of the SHE division of the company, for mentoring all the women employees.

India to host FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020
India will host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020, International Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino announced in the FIFA Council meeting in Miami, USA. This will be the second FIFA tournament India will be hosting, after the U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017. Besides the U-17 Women’s WC, India had also expressed interest in hosting the U-20 Women’s World Cup.   Extra info.:   FIFA Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
World Fame 100: Virat Kohli only Indian in top 10, MS Dhoni in 13th spot
This year’s ESPN World Fame 100 list, an annual list of the most famous athletes on the planet, placed the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo at the top spot, followed by basketball player LeBron James and FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.  Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were among eight Indian cricketers who found a place in the list. Kohli bagged the seventh position and is the only Indian athlete in the top 10, whereas Dhoni is placed in the 13th spot.
Karnataka defeat Maharashtra to clinch Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Karnataka defeated Maharashtra to win their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. It was a dominating performance by Karnataka who remained unbeaten in the 2018-19 season. Agarwal remained not out on 85 off 57 balls while Karun Nair contributed only 8 runs. Karnataka won the match by 8 wickets and 9 balls to spare. It is their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title.

World Sleep Day 2019
World Sleep Day is observed annually on March 15 to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep. It is an event organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society. The idea is to draw people’s attention to the burden of sleep problems and to promote the prevention and management of sleep disorders.  The theme of this year’s World Sleep Day is ‘Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging’.
17TH MARCH 2019
Guinea PM arrives in India to attend conclave on ‘India-Africa Project Partnership’
Prime Minister of Republic of Guinea Ibrahima Kassory Fofana arrived on a ten-day visit to attend the 14th edition of CII-EXIM Bank conclave on ‘India-Africa Project Partnership.’Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising the conclave with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  Fofana will also be attending a programme in Vishakhapatnam from March 21- 24. He will be emplaning for his country on March 25.   Extra info.: Republic of Guinea Capital: Conakry
Currency: Guinean franc
Tata, Reliance and Airtel emerge best Indian brands of 2019
Tata, Reliance and Airtel emerged as the top three Indian brands of 2019, according a report published by Interbrand, part of the Omnicom Media Group, an advertising and public relations conglomerate. Tata continued to hold the top position in the best Indian Brands ranking as its brand value grew by 6%, mainly due to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).  Knocking its competitor Airtel off from the second spot, Reliance’s brand value grew by 12%, bolstered by the success of Jio. Following Airtel at number three, HDFC Bank, LIC, State Bank of India, Infosys, Mahindra, ICICI Bank and Godrej rounded off the top 10 list.
Brazil hosted first BRICS Sherpa Meeting
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. Brazil has identified countering terrorism as one of its priority areas for BRICS under its presidency.
SCO’s RATS Council Meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
India, Pakistan and the other members states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will take part in a joint anti-terrorism exercise to be held this year by the grouping. The decision to hold the joint exercise ‘Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019‘ was announced during the 34th meeting of the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  The SCO, in which China plays an influential role, is also comprised of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.Extra info.:
SCO Headquarters: Beijing, China
Cyclone Idai hit the port city of Beira
Cyclone Idai, which is carrying heavy rains and winds of up to 177 km/h (106 mph), made landfall at the port city of Beira. The cyclone has now moved west towards Zimbabwe. It follows a week of storms and heavy rains in in Mozambique and Malawi that have killed more than 100 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Kohli, Bumrah retain no. 1 spot in ODI rankings
Indian captain Virat Kohli and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah have retained their respective number one positions in the ICC ODI player rankings. Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who are ranked one and two in the batsmen rankings respectively while New Zealand’s former captain Ross Taylor has managed to retain the third spot.In the list for bowlers led by Bumrah, two formerly top-ranked players have made significant gains. New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult has moved up one place to second while South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir has gained seven slots to reach the fourth place.
Manmohan Singh presents award to Arun Jaitley for implementing GST
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presented the BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over successful implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Jaitley received the award on behalf of the GST Council.  The award was also presented to the petitioners against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised homosexuality. 

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar passes away
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Gopalakrishna Prabhu Parrikar passed away in Panaji after a prolonged illness. He was 63. He was diagnosed with a pancreatic ailment in February last year. He served as Chief Minister of the state during October 2000 to February 2005; and March 2012 to November 2014. From November 2014 till March 2017, he served as the Union Defence Minister. Mr Parrikar returned to Goa in March 2017 as the State Chief Minister. 
18TH MARCH 2019
WhatsApp, NASSCOM to impart digital literacy
In a bid to curb fake news during the general elections, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation came together to impart digital literacy training.  As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.  The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the“each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect. Aspiring volunteers can register at     Extra info.:  NASSCOM Headquarters: Noida, U.P.
ICICI Lombard, Mobikwik to offer online fraud protection policy
ICICI Lombard and Mobikwik announced a strategic partnership to provide cyber-insurance cover. The relationship aims to provide protection against unauthorised and fraudulent transactions online, across bank accounts, debit & credit cards and mobile wallets.  MobiKwik users can avail the commercial cyber-insurance policy underwritten by ICICI Lombard and enjoy the benefit of stress-free and secured transactions. It can be availed atRs 99 per month and with a sum insured of Rs 50,000.
Diksha Dagar becomes youngest Indian woman to win on Ladies European Tour
Diksha wrote her own piece of history by becoming the youngest Indian woman to win on the Ladies European Tour (LET) in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2016 Diksha was given a place to play at India’s biggest women’s pro event, the Hero Women’s Indian Open. It was her first appearance on the LET and the then 15-year-old from Haryana made the cut and finished as the top amateur.
K T Irfan becomes first Indian athlete to qualify for Tokyo Olympics
National record holder K.T. Irfan became the first Indian from athletics to qualify for the next year’s Olympics while finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan. The Olympics qualification period for all other athletics events will start from May 1 this year and will run till June 29, 2020.No other Indian from athletics has so far qualified for Tokyo Olympics. Two other Indians, Devinder Singh and
Valtteri Bottas wins Australia GP for Mercedes
Mercedes team Formula One (F1) driver Valtteri Bottas won his first champion in the Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne. It was the fourth time in as many years that Hamilton has taken pole position in Australia only to finish second.
Mukesh Ambani tops list of world’s richest sports team owners
Reliance Industries chairman and Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani recently topped Forbes’ The World’s Richest Sports Team Owners 2019 list. With a total net worth of about $50 billion, Ambani topped the list. He bought the IPL team Mumbai Indians for over $100 million in 2008 through a RIL subsidiary. Former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer who own the Los Angeles Clippers team follows Ambani at the second spot in the list. He purchased the basketball team for about $2 billion after he retired from Microsoft.Red Bull energy drink company founder Dietrich Mateschitz followed at number three spot. He owns Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, Formula One team Red Bull Racing and MLS club New York Red Bulls.
Former SC Judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose Will Be India’s 1st Lokpal
Former Supreme Court judge, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, is all set to become the first Lokpal of India. The PM Narendra Modi-led selection committee chose Ghose’s name from a panel of names recommended by an eight-member search committee. Ghosh will preside over the Lokpal as chairman and will be assisted by a panel of four judicial and four non-judicial members. The Lokpal will look into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, including the Prime Minister, and will be the first anti-corruption ombudsman with an independent inquiry wing and prosecution wing.
Fashion designer Ritu Beri appointed cultural ambassador of Uzbekistan in India
Indian fashion designer Ritu Beri has been appointed as the Cultural and Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India by the Ministry of Tourism of Uzbekistan. The designer has been working towards bringing the two countries closer by using the cultures from both the nations in her clothing collections.  Beri who is the first Indian to be appointed to this position aims to further deepen ties between the two countries through her work going forward.   Extra info.:
Uzbekistan Capital: Tashkent
Currency: Uzbekistani som
President: Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Global Recycling Day
The Global Recycling Foundation has announced the second annual Global Recycling Day will feature a “Recycling into the Future” theme. The second annual event takes place March 18.The Global Recycling Foundation was formed in October 2018 by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Brussels, in an effort to support the promotion of recycling, and the recycling industry, across the world in order to showcase its vital role in preserving the future of the planet.  This year’s event will focus on the importance and power of youth, innovation and education in ensuring a brighter future for the world.
19th MARCH 2019
Africa-India joint field training exercise (AFINDEX-19) starts in Pune
The inaugural Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 for India and African nations called AFINDEX-19 started with a grand opening ceremony at Aundh Military Station, Pune. Contingents of the 17 African Nations came together for the opening ceremony along with a contingent of Maratha Light Infantry representing India.  The aim of the exercise is to practice the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations.
Maldives Sign Agreement With Exim Bank To Finance Infrastructure Projects
Maldives finance ministry has signed an agreement with India’s Export-Import bank (EXIM)for line of credit (LOC) of 800 million US dollars to finance the new government’s infrastructure projects. The agreement with EXIM Bank was signed in presence of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj two-day visit to Male. The concessional loans will be used to provide water and sewerage services on several islands.  The external affairs minister also announced the Indian government’s decision to renew the quota for essential commodities, including river sand and stone aggregate for 3 years with effect on April 1.   Extra info.:
Maldives Capital: Male         Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa

Net Direct Tax Collection Figure Has Crossed The Rs 10 Lakh Crore Mark
The net direct tax collection figure has crossed the Rs 10 lakh crore mark helped by the fourth and final installment of tax payment. The net direct tax collection during April-January of this fiscal stood at Rs 7.89 lakh crore as against Rs 12 lakh crore targeted for the entire fiscal of 2018-19.However, the GST collection is expected to rise to Rs 7.61 lakh crore in the next fiscal.
Asian wrestling championship taken away from India, to be now held in Thailand
The United World Wrestling (UWW) has taken away the hosting rights from India for the junior Asian Championship. It is the first sporting event to be taken away from India after the denial of visas to Pakistan’s shooters last month for the ISSF World Cup prompted the International Olympic Committee to censure the Indian Olympic Association.  The UWW had asked all its affiliated federations to suspend all communication with the Wrestling Federation of India.  Extra info.:   UWW Headquarters: Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland
Thailand Capital: Bangkok
Currency: Thai baht
Rajasthan Royals launches cricket academy in UK
The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals launched its first cricket academy in the UKThe Star Cricket Academy based at Reed’s School in Surrey joined hands with Rajasthan Royals to relaunch the facility as the ‘Rajasthan Royals Academy’.  It has a state-of-the-art cricket centre named the Jarrett Centre with an indoor cricket training facility run by former professional batsman Siddharth Lahiri, along with his team of elite coaches.

Pramod Sawant sworn in as Goa CM
Former Speaker of Goa legislative assembly and BJP MLA Pramod Sawant was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa. Vijai Sardesai from the Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavalikar from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, both alliance partners, have been inducted as Deputy Chief Ministers.
C Prem Kumar Clinched Gollapudi Srinivas award for his Tamil film ‘96’
C Prem Kumar’s 96, with Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha, has clinched this year’s Gollapudi Srinivas Award. The prize money of Rs 1.5 lakhs will be handed over to the first-time director on August 12. The award, which was first announced in 1997, went to Leslie Carvalho’s debut work. Since then many first works have been honoured with the Gollapudi Srinivas trophy. Shyamaprasad’s Agni Sakshi (Malayalam), Shonali’s Bose’s Amu (English), Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par (Hindi) and Gyan Correa’s The Good Road (Gujarati) are some of the award winners.
Hindi Writer Leeladhar Jagudi Will Be Honoured With The Vyas Samman 2018
Noted Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi will be conferred with the Vyas Samman 2018 for his collection of poems ‘Jitne Log Utne Prem.’ Along with a cash prize of Rs 4 lakh, he will be given a citation. The award was initiated in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation. 
20TH MARCH 2019
Centre approved the name change of a Nagaland village Old Mangkhi to Mungankhun
The Centre has given its consent for changing the name of a village in Nagaland, taking to nearly two dozens the number of name-change proposals, including those of towns and railway stations, to be cleared in the past one year. The ODL Mangkhi village in Tuensang district of the northeastern state will be known as Mungankhun village.  The central government has given its ‘no-objection’ to renaming of 22 villages, towns and railway stations across the country since December 2017.
Defence Ministry clears proposal to buy 10 lakh ‘Made in India’ hand grenades for Army
Defence Ministry cleared a major project for the Indian Army for the acquisition of 10 lakh ‘Made in India’ multi-mode hand grenades. The new hand grenades will replace the existing inventory, HE-36 grenades manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board. The multi-mode grenades have been developed by the DRDO.
ICF Chennai becomes worlds largest rail coach manufacturer
Integral Coach Factory (ICF), the rail coach manufacturing factory at Chennai, which became famous for manufacturing Train 18, has become the single largest rail coach manufacturer in the world surpassing top Chinese manufacturers.  The manufacturing facility of Indian Railways in Chennai manufactured 2,919 coaches from April 2018 to February 2019 against 2,600 coaches manufactured by top Chinese manufacturers.ICF has set a target to manufacture 3,200 coaches in this financial year 2019.  Extra info.:  Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, was established in 1952 and is owned and operated by the Indian Railways.
Mobile app developed by IIPHG, PHFI to combat exam pressure
A mobile application to cope with exam related stress and anxiety for students and their parents has been developed by Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, Gujarat, (IIPHG)in collaboration with National Mental Health Program, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat. The mobile application is called ‘Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior.’   The app that has open access reminds students to stay motivated. It enables students to share their creative memorizing learning tips with others as they can write their success stories and share funny school experiences.
Google unveils Cloud gaming service Stadia
Google has unveiled its Cloud gaming service called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at the GDC.  The platform is essentially a Cloud-based infrastructure where game developers would be able to design and write games to run directly on the Internet giant’s hardware at data centres.
Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev resigns after 30 yrs
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned from his position after nearly 30 years in power. Nazarbayev, 78, who has led Kazakhstan since its independence from the Soviet Union, announced his resignation.  The Speaker of the upper house of Parliament, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, would take over as acting president for the remainder of his term. The announcement came weeks after Nazarbayev sacked the Kazakhstan government, citing failures to improve the economy.  Extra info.:  Kazakhstan Capital: Astana
Currency: Tenge

IBBI, SEBI sign MoU for better implementation of IBC
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for effective implementation of the new bankruptcy law. Executive Directors Anand Baiwar of the SEBI and Ritesh Kavdia of the IBBI signed the pact which provides for sharing information and resources.
·        Other areas of cooperation under the MoU include cross-training of staff, effective utilisation of collective resources as well as capacity building of insolvency professionals and financial creditors.
·        Extra info.:
IBBI Headquarters: New Delhi
Chairperson: M. S. Sahoo
SEBI Headquarters: Mumbai
Chairperson: Ajay Tyagi
Gauri Sawant Becomes India’s 1st 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.   Gauri Sawant’s appointment would help in more people from this category getting registered during the final phase of voters enrollment. She would visit every transgender and inspire them about the need for voting.

Raghu Karnad awarded Windham-Campbell prize in the UK for his debut book
Journalist and writer Raghu Karnad won the $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize in the non-fiction category for his debut book, The Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War. Karnad is the second Indian to receive the prestigious prize, since Jerry Pinto won it for his novel, Em And The Big Hoom, in 2016.
·        American writer Rebecca Solnit is the other awardee in the non-fiction category for the diverse body of work she has produced over her career.
Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck becomes 1st Woman To Win Abel Prize
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named U.S mathematician Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck as the winner of the 2019 Abel Prize. Named after 19th Century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, the prize is awarded to laureates who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of mathematics. She is the first woman to be awarded this top honor in mathematics, which will be presented to her by His Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway on May 21.

World Sparrow Day
Every year March 20 is observed as World Sparrow Day to raise awareness about the bird. The need for marking this day was felt due to the tremendous decrease in its population. The house sparrow is on the verge of extinction.   This year the theme for World Sparrow Day is I Love Sparrows. The theme has been inspired by the hope that more and more of us will celebrate the relationship between people and sparrows.
International Day Of Happiness
The International Day of Happiness is celebrated on March 20 every year since 2013. The day was founded and materialised by United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire and spread a global happiness movement.  The theme for International Day of Happiness 2019 is Happier Together. The day will also be promoted around the central theme – ‘Share Happiness and be Part of Something Amazing’.
21ST MARCH 2019
Kazakhstan to rename country’s capital Astana as Nursultan
Kazakhstan’s parliament voted to rename the country’s capital Astana as Nursultan in honour of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, a day after he resigned as president. Astana is now officially renamed Nursultan. Kazakhstan’s new interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed renaming the capital.  Astana replaced Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty as the capital in 1997.
SBI inks pact with Bank of China for business opportunities
SBI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bank of China, third-largest bank in the world by capital size and one of the major players in the Chinese banking sector, to enhance business synergies between both the banks. This MoU will facilitate the clients of both the banks to access banking products and services of each other, which will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.  Through this pact, both SBI and BoC will gain direct access to their respective markets of operation. Both banks’ clients will be able to use the vast combined network to expand their businesses abroad.

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. Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a five-year agreement with the organizers of the T10 Cricket League.T10 was first introduced to the UAE in 2017. The first match of the T10 League 2019 will be held on October 23.
India wins 368 medals at Special Olympics World Summer Games
India returned with 368 medals, including 85 goldat the Special Olympics World Summer Games which was held at Abu Dhabi, UAE from March 14 to 21. The Indian team of 284 athletes also clinched 154 silver and 129 bronze medals in its highly successful campaign at the prestigious event.  Indian powerlifters bagged the maximum number of medals — 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze. Roller Skating earned India 49 medals — 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze.
Sudin Dhavalikar, Vijay Sardesai Appointed Goa Deputy CMs
Sudin Dhavalikar and Vijai Sardesai were appointed deputy chief ministers in the BJP led government in Goa. The development came soon after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant proved the majority of his two-day old government in the state Assembly floor test without any hiccups.Dhavalikar and Sardesai, who represent Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party respectively, were sworn in as ministers along with Sawant. 
EC appoints Shailendra Handa & Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers
Election Commission has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Shailendra Handa and Ms. Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. Shailendra Handa has been deployed in Maharashtra and Madhu Mahajan has been deployed in Tamil Nadu.  The Special Observers will supervise and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery.
Political psychoanalyst Ashis Nandy honoured with Hans Kilian Award
Sociologist and political psychoanalyst Ashis Nandy was named recipient of Hans Kilian Award for the year 2019. He was chosen for his efforts to adapt western traditions of thought such as psychoanalysis to non-western context.He is internationally renowned political psychologist, social theorist, and critic from India.
Piyush Goyal among seven Indians in ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019’
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Dr Harsh Vardhan are among the 7 Indians who have been named in the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019’ for taking steps in order to combat climate change. Piyush Goyal has led the fast track electrification of nearly 18,000 unelectrified villages while Harsh Vardhan launched the anti-plastic bag campaign in Delhi and the “Green Shopper Campaign”, which promotes business partnerships with manufacturing of environment-friendly products   Mukta Tilak, Jyoti Kirit Parikh, Sunita Narain, Vandana Shiva, Upendra Tripathy & Varshini Prakash were among other people.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. The theme of this year is, “Mitigating and countering of rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies”. 
International Day of Forests
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.  The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2019 is Forests and Education.
22ND MARCH 2019
India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (Ind-Indo Corpat) commences at Port Blair
33rd edition of India, Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (Ind-Indo Corpat) commenced at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It aimed at consolidating interoperability and strengthen existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia.  The joint patrolling is conducted by navies of both countries near International Maritime Boundary Line in an effort to keep Indian Ocean region (IOR) safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
·        Extra info.:    Indonesia Capital: Jakarta     Currency: Rupiah
First Ever High-Level Dialogue On Indo-Pacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) Held In Jakarta
The first ever High-Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) was held in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia. It was organized by Government of Indonesia and saw participation of 18 countries Indo-Pacific region including India. It was first forum for the 18 countries to discuss the concept of Indo-Pacific. Its theme was‘Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Inclusive Region’.
CBSE Launches Shiksha Vani App
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched a new podcast app ‘Shiksha Vani’ earlier this week. This app will disseminate crucial information to students and parents in a timely manner.  The CBSE board also mentioned that its first episode, on the evaluation process of Class 10 and 12 board examinations, has been released on the platform. This episode is helpful for all the students, as when the examinations proceed, the episode helps students understand how their completed papers will be evaluated.

Finland is the happiest nation, India slips 7 spots, ranks 140th
Indians are not as happy in 2019 as they were in 2018 and the country figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on UN World Happiness Report- 2019. The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row. The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.   Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year in succession. The Nordic nation is followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.    Extra info.:    Finland Capital: Helsinki Dialing
Currency: Euro
Chuddies enters Oxford English Dictionary in its March update
The Indian word for underpants – chuddies – has become the latest entry to the Oxford English Dictionary. Chuddies is one of the 650 words added to the Oxford English Dictionaryas part of its effort to expand coverage of regional vocabularies. Added in the quarterly March update, chuddies now joins the ranks of pony bottles, jibbons and kitbasher, among others.  Identifying it is an Indian English word in origin, the entry for chuddies in the Oxford English Dictionary provides its meaning: “Short trousers, shorts. Now usually: underwear; underpants.”
BoB-Dena-Vijaya Bank to be injected with Rs 5K cr
The Bank of Baroda may get Rs 5,000 capital infusion from the Finance Ministry ahead of its united operations as a merged entity along with the Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank from April 1.In February, the government approved Rs 48,239-crore recap bonds in 12 PSBs. The merger will create India’s third largest bank with a total business of over Rs 14.82 lakh crore.

Fitch slashes India growth forecast from 7 pc to 6.8 pc
Global rating agency Fitch has cut its India’s economic growth forecast to 6.8 per cent for 2019-20 from the earlier estimate of 7 per cent due to weak momentum in manufacturing and agriculture. However, it said India economic growth forecast is expected to be 7.1 per cent in 2020-21.  On a global level, Fitch said while China and other emerging markets are a key source of weaker demand, there is no onset of a global recession.  Extra info.:
Fitch Headquarters: New York
India one of world’s fastest growing large economies: IMF
India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. India has of course been one of the world’s fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about 7 per cent over the past five years.  Extra info.:  IMF Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States  Membership: 189 countries
India lose Jr. Davis and Fed Cup hosting rights, to be held in Bangkok now
After the Balakot air strikes, Pakistan’s air space was shut down and it has resulted in Indialosing the hosting rights of the junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup. A total of 16 Davis Cup team were to travel to India for the annual competition. The junior Davis Cup was to be held from April 8-13 while the Fed Cup matches were scheduled from April 15-20.  Both the competitions will now be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Blossom-themed Olympic torch unveiled for Tokyo 2020 Games
The torch design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was unveiled exactly a year before the flame is due to arrive in Japan from Greece. The theme of the pink gold torch centres on ‘sakura’ or cherry blossom in Japan, which arrives every spring to much fanfare, and it was designed with input from children from the areas most severely damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  The theme of the Tokyo Games is reconstruction from the 2011 disaster and the torch relay will begin in Miyagi prefecture another area deeply affected on March 20 next year.
Chennai City crowned I-League champions
Chennai City FC was officially crowned the I-League champion in front of representatives of other clubs and bigwigs of All India Football Federation (AIFF) at a function in Chennai.  I-League CEO Sunando Dhar praised Rohit Ramesh, the owner of Chennai City, for the brand of football his team had dished out in the tournament.
Renowned Indian artist Haku Shah passes away
Renowned Indian artist Haku Shah, best known for his themes of tribal and folk art, passed away following a cardiac arrest at his home in Ahmedabad. He was 85.  Fondly known as “Haku bhai”, the award-winning artist also set up the first of its kind Crafts Village – Shilpgram in Udaipur in Rajasthan in the 1980s.
Kannada Actor L.V. Sharada passes away
Acclaimed actor of yesteryears L V Sharada who played an iconic role in the award-winning movie Phaniyamma passed away in Bengaluru. She entered the Kannada filmdom through ‘Vamsha Vruksha’ (1971) and won the state award for best actress in her debut role ‘Kathyayini’. She was78.  This apart, Sharada had acted in several other movies, including Adi Shankaracharya, Madhwacharya, Ondu Premada Kathe and Nakkala Rajakumari.
World Water Day
World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22. The idea behind observing this day is focusing on the importance of water and need to conserve it. The World Water Day theme2019 is “Leaving no one behind”.  World Water Day was first observed in 1993 by United Nations General Assembly. This year is 26th World Water Day.
23RD MARCH 2019
ADB To Invest $50 million In Solar Power Project Developer Avaada
Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has inked an agreement to invest USD 50 million in solar energy project developer Avaada Energy Pvt Ltd to help the company scale up rapidly. The investment will come equally from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources and Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).  The project will contribute to the strategy of the government to increase the share of renewable energy generation capacity from about 20 per cent in 2018 to 40 per cent by 2030. LEAP is a funding arrangement provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is administered by ADB.  Extra info.:
ADB Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines   President: Takehiko Nakao
Xiaomi Launches Mi Pay, UPI-Based Payments App in India
Xiaomi launched Mi Pay, its very own Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based payments service in India. The app is already available in China and was first introduced in India last December in beta mode.  The Chinese electronics company partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) who approved it and ICICI Bank to launch the app in India.

Nepal: India-funded Siddheshwar Education Public Campus inaugurated
The campus building for Siddheshwar Education Public Campus in Bamti Bhandar of Ramechhap district was inaugurated in a public function organised jointly by the District Coordination Committee and Campus Management Committee. The new infrastructure constructed with the Indian Government’s grant assistance of NRs 35.50 million.  The newly built infrastructure will not only boost the learning environment of students but also enhance access to education for the needy, poor and marginalised students of Ramechhap district and adjoining area.
Book ‘The Great Disappointment: How Narendra Modi Squandered a Unique Opportunity to Transform the Indian Economy’ written by Salman Anees Soz released
The Great Disappointment: How Narendra Modi Squandered a Unique Opportunity to Transform the Indian Economy” attempts to answer the overarching question of whether or not the Modi government transformed India’s economy and what the next government’s agenda should look like.   Written by economic and political commentator Salman Anees Soz, the book is also a critical assessment of five years of the brand of economics Modi has championed, often referred to as ‘Modinomics’. It was published by Penguin Random House India.

In a 1st, SpiceJet Joins International Air Transport Association
SpiceJet has joined global airlines’ grouping IATA as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership. The International Air Transport Association (IATA)represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara. The membership would help SpiceJet, which has ambitious expansion plans, to have codeshares and agreements with other carriers.   Extra info.:   IATA Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
Aamir Khan Appointed as PhonePe’s Brand Ambassador
PhonePe, India’s fastest growing payments platform announced appointed of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as its brand Ambassador. PhonePe is also an official co-presenting sponsor for the television broadcast of VIVO IPL 2019, and will be launching a series of new TV ads featuring Aamir Khan during this season.  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.
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh appointed as next Navy Chief
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh will be the next Chief of Naval Staff. He will be appointed after Admiral Sunil Lanba, who retires in May this year, vacates office. He is serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.  Commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, the officer earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982. In his 36-year-old career, the officer has commanded an Indian Coast Guard Ship, a Naval Missile Corvette as well as Guided Missile Destroyers.
Martyr’s Day
Martyrs day in India is celebrated to pay homage to the victims who fought for the freedom, welfare and progress of the India and sacrificed their lives. On 23 March, India marks Martyrs’ Day in the memories of three freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who were hanged to death on this day in Lahore Central Jail in 1931. The day is also known as Shaheed Diwas.
World Tuberculosis Day
World TB Day, which is observed on 24 March every year, is designed to raise public awareness regarding the epidemic of TB (tuberculosis) and efforts of eliminating the disease. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. The theme for World TB Day 2019 will be ‘It’s TIME’. 
24TH  MARCH 2019
Italy becomes first G7 nation to join China’s BRI
Despite a warning by United States, Italy joined China’s signature foreign policy Belt and Road initiative (BRI), making it the first G7 country to officially do so. China and Italy also a Memorandum of Understanding in this regard. Already, China has signed BRI cooperation agreements with over 40 countries.  Facing the third recession in a decade, Italy has defended its action saying that Chinese investment is good for their country.  Extra info.:  The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Facebook Announces Artificial Intelligence for Social Good Summit
With a vision to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver social good,Facebook has announced its inaugural ‘AI for India Summit’ focused on discussing inclusive growth and solutions to the most enduring social challenges. The one-day summit will be held on 26 March in Bangalore.  The Summit will bring together key representatives from the AI community in India such as policy makers, start-ups, and the developer community.

Book ‘Every Vote Counts’ authored by Navin Chawla released
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla’s latest book ‘Every Vote Counts’, was launched at New Delhi’s Taj Mahal Hotel on Man Singh Road. Navin Chawla’s book was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari.  The book published by HarperCollins India. Every Vote Counts is a fascinating, informative account that gives us a kaleidoscopic view of how the electoral machinery works in the world s largest democracy.
Raina becomes first player to score 5,000 IPL runs
Suresh Raina added another feather to his illustrious cap in Chennai as the Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) batsman became the first in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history to amass 5,000 runs. The Uttar Pardesh cricketer also has 35 fifties in the league beside a century, averaging 34.27.  Raina is followed by India skipper Virat Kohli, who has 4,954 runs from 164 games, containing four hundreds and 34 fifties.
China wins 2019 badminton Asia mixed team trophy
China won the 2019 badminton Asia mixed team championships by defeating Japan 3-2 in the final in Hong Kong. China took the lead 1-0 after He Jiting and Du Yue overcame Japanese pair Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino in the mixed doubles.   In the women’s doubles, Li Yinhui and Du Fu sealed the win for China by beating Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata.
Former world number 6 badminton player Joachim Persson banned over match-fixing
Denmark’s Joachim Persson has been banned for 18 months for offences linked to betting and match-fixing. The 36-year-old former world number six was found guilty of “four violations of the code of conduct in relation to betting, wagering and irregular match results”.  The violations include failing to disclose details of an approach and not cooperating fully with investigations conducted by the Badminton World Federation.  Extra info.:
Badminton World Federation Headquarters‎: ‎Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
25TH MARCH 2019
India ranks 76th on WEF Global Energy Transition Index
India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index. This annual list, compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). The report, released by the WEF, said India is amongst the countries with high pollution levels and has a relatively high CO2 intensity in its energy system.  India is also the second best in the BRICS block of emerging economies, with Brazil being the best at 46th place globally. However, India is the only amongst the five economies to improve its rank since last year.  Extra info.:
WEF Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
Delhi IGI Airport becomes the 12th busiest in the world as per ACI report
The nation capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has now become the world’s 12th busiest airport, moving up four places from the 16th spot in 2017. According to the preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018 released by the Airports Council International (ACI) , it over took mega-hubs like Frankfurt, Dallas Forth Worth, Guangzhou and Istanbul Ataturk airports.  India became the world’s third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput, behind the US and China, in 2018. The ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts also predicts the country will represent the third largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput after the US and China by 2020.
NITI Aayog’s FinTech Conclave held in New Delhi
NITI Aayog has organized a day-long FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi. The Conclave was inaugurated by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. The objective of the conference is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
Yarn bank set up to help weavers in crisis
A yarn bank has been set up at the Mysore Powerloom Silk Manufacturers Cooperative Society on Avenue Road to benefit the state’s weavers.  The bank, regardless of the price rise in the open market and the menace of middlemen, ensures a steady supply of yarn to the weavers from southern Karnataka. The bank will purchase yarn at the wholesale rate from producers with a corpus instituted by the Centre and a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
Naresh Goyal steps down as Jet Airways Chairman
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal stepped down, paving way for lenders to bail out the financially troubled airline he set up 25 years ago. The airline has over one billion dollars in debt and has to repay money to banks, lessors of planes and suppliers besides clearing pending salaries to its pilots.  The board meeting held in Mumbai also decided on ways to procure interim funding.
For housing finance companies, FY20 looks as bad as FY19: Icra report
The liquidity crisis has crimped credit growth for housing finance companies (HFCs) and is unlikely to improve much in FY20, even as the weak external environment will put a pressure on asset quality, warns a report.  HFCs are expected to report a 13-15% credit growth in FY19, which will inch up to 14-16% in next fiscal year, ratings agency Icra has said in a weekend report.  Extra info.:  Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA) Headquarters‎: ‎Gurugram‎, India
World’s largest e-waste recycling hub opens in Dubai
The world’s largest e-waste recycling facility has opened in Dubai. Located at the Dubai Industrial Park, the 280,000 square feet plant will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste. The facility will utilise state-of-the-art reclamation technology, which surpasses the European Union’s standards for e-waste. The 120 million dirhams ($5 million) project is backed by the Swiss Government Export Finance Agency.

Saina Nehwal named as TSJA sports person of the year
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal walked away with the Sportsperson of the Year award at the annual Telangana Sports Journalists Association (TSJA) Awards held at The Park.  PV Sindhu was named the Outstanding Performer of the Year (female), Pullela Gopichandwas awarded the Coach of the Year and the Indian badminton team was named the Team of the Year, while the Badminton Association of Telangana was awarded the Association of the Year.
Govindaraj re-elected BFI president
K. Govindaraj was unanimously re-elected as president of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) at its annual general-body meeting in Bengaluru. Chander Mukhi Sharma was re-elected secretary-general.   A new six-team women’s league would be held inside the next three months, declared Govindaraj.   Extra info.:  Basketball Federation of India Headquarters: New Delhi

Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins 2019 Global Teacher Prize
A science teacher from rural Kenya, who gives away most of his salary to support poorer pupils, has won a $1m prize (£760,000) for the world’s best teacher. Peter Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize.  The award, announced in a ceremony in Dubai, recognises the “exceptional” teacher’s commitment to pupils in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Noted folk artist Vinjamuri Anasuyadevi passes away
Noted folk artist, music director and writer Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi passed away at Houston in the U.S. at the age of 99. A recipient of Kala Prapoorna award, she got her first gramophone record at the age of 8 years.  She composed and sang the famous patriotic song Jaya Jaya Jaya Priya Bharathi written by her uncle Devulapally Krishna Shastry. Her book Bhava Geetalu, a compilation of folk songs, was released in Chennai last year.
Social activist Ghulam Nabi Rathar passes away
Ghulam Nabi Rathar, 62, of Manigam Kangan, a social activist, passed away after brief illness. Rather, a retired horticultural officer, was ex-chairman of Shaheen Public High School Mamigam and owner of Alamdar Public school Wussan Kangan. 

World Meteorological Day
World Meteorological Day takes place every year on 23 March and commemorates the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization. It showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society and is celebrated with activities around the world.  The theme for this year is “The Sun, the Earth and the Weather”
26TH MARCH 2019
Indian-Sri Lankan Joint Military Exercise MITRASHAKTI–VI Begins
In a bid to further cement the relationship between armies of both the nations, a contingent of Indian Army left for Sri Lanka to participate in 6th edition of joint military exercise “Mitra Shakti”, involving practicing tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.  Exercise Mitra Shakti-VI will go a long way in further cementing relationship between both the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing bonhomie at grassroots levels amongst both the armies.Extra info.:
Sri Lanka Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee

INS Kadmatt at Langkawi, Malaysia to Participate in LIMA-19
Indian Navy‘s frontline anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette INS Kadmatt reached atLangkawi in Malaysia, on a seven-day official visit, to participate in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition.  The ship would be participating in numerous activities planned as part of LIMA 19 during the seven days at Langkawi, including the International Fleet Review (IFR) by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, maritime and air demonstration, Sea Exercises with 29 other participating navies, cultural exchange programmes, cross visits to ships, sporting events.     Malaysia Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: Malaysian ringgit
Norway gets world’s first wireless charging station for taxis
Norway’s capital Oslo will become the first city in the world to install wireless charging systems for electric taxis, hoping to make recharging quick and efficient enough to speed the takeup of non-polluting cabs. From 2023 onward all taxis in Oslo will have to be zero emission and Norway wants all new cars to be zero emission by 2025.  Extra info.:
Norway Capital: Oslo
Currency: Norwegian krone

RBI slaps Rs 2 crore penalty on PNB
The RBI has slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank (PNB) for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations. SWIFT is a global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities. Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank had imposed penalties worth Rs 71 crore on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance with various directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT operations. However, the list did not include PNB.

RBI appoints five-member committee to deepen digital payments
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the central bank of the country has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to further deepen digital payments and enhance financial inclusion through Fintech.  The objective of the conclave is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.
Facebook launches tools to boost election engagement
Social-networking site Facebook launched 2 new India-specific tools “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” to boost civic engagement on its platform during the general elections that commence in April.  While “Candidate Connect” will help people learn more about candidates, the “Share You Voted” will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate their vote.
Vijaywada Railway Station Gets ‘Gold Rating’ For Green Measures
Vijayawada railway station, one of the busiest railway junctions in the country, has received Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council. Council Chairman Meka Vijaya Sai presented the gold rating shield to Divisional Railway Manager R Dhananjayulu.The station boasts of 100 per cent LED lighting,five star rated fans, pumps and motors and solar water heating systems.
Navy chief commissions ABHEDYA at INS Shivaji in Lonavala
Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissioned a state-of-the-art “Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Training Facility – ABHEDYA”, at INS Shivaji in Lonavla. The ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries, including VAdm AK Chawla, FOC-in-C Southern Naval Command, VAdm GS Pabby, Chief of Materiel and Cmde BB Nagpal CMD, GSL.This unique facility will assist Indian Navy in providing realistic simulation of Nuclear, Chemical & Biological warfare to its personnel during their NBC damage control training, which till now was limited to theoretical training largely.

Bangladesh celebrates 49th Independence Day
Bangladesh celebrated the 49th Independence Day amid tight security. The day was celebrated with parades and paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, national memorial at Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka.   On March 26, Bangladesh commemorates the declaration of independence on late hours of March 25, 1971.

President Kovind receives Croatia’s highest civilian order
President Ram Nath Kovind received Croatia’s highest civilian order, the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav, during his official visit to the nation. The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their contribution towards the strengthening of ties between the European nation and their respective country, amongst other things, according to Kumar.  Kovind, who is the first Indian President to visit Croatia, is currently on a three-country trip from March 25 to April 4.   Extra info.:   Croatia Capital: Zagreb   Currency: Croatian kuna

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.
27TH MARCH 2019
Railways to run 100 summer special trains
The Indian Railways said that 100 summer special trains would be run to handle extra rush of passengers during this season. These special trains will be run from March 28. A superfast weekly special train between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Gorakhpur will make a total of 26 round trips between the two stations every Friday from April 12 to July 5. The Indian Railways will also run weekly special trains from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus to Manduadihfrom Pune to Gorakhpur and from Pune to Manduadih.
Ooty’s muon detection facility measures potential of thundercloud
For the first time in the world, researchers at the GRAPES-3 muon telescope facility in Ootyhave measured the electrical potential, size and height of a thundercloud that passed overhead on December 1, 2014. At 1.3 gigavolts (GV), this cloud had 10 times higher potential than the previous record in a cloud.
Bangladesh celebrates 49th Independence Day
Bangladesh celebrated the 49th Independence Day amid tight security. The day was celebrated with parades and paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, national memorial at Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka. On March 26, Bangladesh commemorates the declaration of independence on late hours of March 25, 1971.

Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary bag Gold medal in 10m Air Pistol Mixed event at Asian Airgun C’ship
In Shooting, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary have bagged a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air Pistol Mixed team event at the 12th Asian Airgun Championship at Taoyuan in Taipei.
·        The pair made it to the Final after smashing the world record in the qualification. 17-year-old Manu and 16-year-old Saurabh shot a combined score of 784, breaking the record set by Russians Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov at the European Championships.

28TH MARCH 2019
India tests its 1st anti-satellite missile system, codenamed Mission Shakti
India successfully conducted an anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test, becoming the fourthcountry to do so by successfully destroying a low earth orbit satellite in space by using a missile which covered a distance of 300 km to engage the target. The US, Russia and Chinaare the only other country to have tested an A-SAT weapon previously.  Mission Shakti operation was a difficult target to achieve and was completed successfully within 3 minutes of launch.  Singapore airport named world’s best, New Delhi’s IGI up 8 notches at 59th  .  Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the world’s best aviation hub for the seventhtime in a row, while New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport featured at number 59, according to the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The list has been compiled by the UK-based Skytrax, a consultancy firm which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site, featuring 100 airports.
Hyper local connectivity app launched in Mumbai
The Mumbai-based company Linkus Infratech has launched a hyper-local connectivity app called “Bhonga” to connect users to people in their neighbourhood in the city even without an Internet connection. “Bhonga” is a word in Marathi language that translates to meaning megaphone or loudspeaker.  Focusing on security and anonymity, the app only shares location coordinates from where a post originates and it supports voice notes as well as photos. Once the app is downloaded, it automatically lists the user as part of the locality within the radius of one kilometre.

India, African Union ink MoU on health sciences cooperation
The Indian Council of Medical Research and the African Union (AU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which formalised the India-Africa Health Sciences Collaborative Platform (IAHSP) by establishing a framework.  The IAHSP was established after the first India-Africa Health Sciences Meet in 2016 in New Delhi. The IAHSP strengthens cooperation in the health sector in a structured and organized manner.
India, Russia to open military chopper repair centre by late 2019
A new centre to repair Russian helicopters of Mi-17V-5 type will be operational in Chandigarh by the end of 2019, according to Russian Helicopters Deputy Director General Igor Chechikov.  He highlighted the possibility of extending the capabilities of this centre in the future, provided the Indian side is “interested”.
Tesla builds its ‘largest energy storage system in Asia’
In a bid to reduce energy demand and provide emergency backup power to trains in Japan, Tesla has claimed to develop its largest power storage system in Asia. It has installed a bank of 42 Powerpacks at a train station in Japan’s Osaka that can provide sufficient backup power to safely move a train and its passengers to the nearest station in the event of a power outage. In the event of a grid outage, this Osaka Powerpack installation is designed to provide emergency backup power to safely move a train and its passengers to the nearest station. 

BoB to develop agri-digital platform ‘Baroda Kisan’, inks MoUs with 6 firms
Public sector lender Bank of Baroda said it will develop an agri-digital platform called ‘Baroda Kisan’ in order to provide solutions for all major agricultural requirements. Six companies Skymet Weather Services, Weather Risk Management Services, BigHaat, Agrostar India, EM3 Agri Services and Poorti Agri Services have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the bank for this project.  The agri-digital platform will be executed by IT Centre of Excellence (ITCoE) of Bank of Baroda in partnership with IBM India.
Bank of Baroda to get Rs 5,042 cr capital infusion
Ahead of its merged entity operation, Bank of Baroda will receive Rs 5,042 crore fund infusionfrom the government. The Ministry of Finance has conveyed its decision to infuse the capital in Bank of Baroda. The infusion will be by way of preferential allotment of equity shares (special securities/bonds) of the bank during FY 2018-19 as government’s investment. The merged entity also involving Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will start operation from April 1.

Infosys arm to buy 75% stake in Dutch bank subsidiary
Global software major Infosys said its consulting arm would buy 75 per cent equity stake in Starter N.V., a subsidiary of the Dutch-based ABN AMRO Bank for Rs 999 crore ($144 million) in cash for strategic partnership in The Netherlands.  The Amsterdam headquartered third largest Dutch bank ABN will hold the remaining 25 per cent of the shareholding in Stater.

31-year-old Hopman Cup replaced by new ATP Cup
The city of Perth in Western Australia (WA) will no longer play host to the Hopman Cup.Instead, the mixed tournament format will be replaced with an all men’s event called the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Cup.  Played across three cities, Perth will join Sydney and Brisbane as the hosts of the new competition which is set to feature 100 of the world’s top male players.
ECI appoints special expenditure observers for AP, Arunachal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland, Telangana
Election Commission appointed 2 former civil servants Gopal Mukherjee and D.D. Goel as special expenditure observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. While Mr. Gopal Mukherjee ex-IRS, former Member of CBDT has been deployed in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Mr D.D.Goel ex-IRS, former DGIT been deployed in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.  Further, the Commission has decided to give additional charge of Gujarat and Karnataka to Shailendra Handa and Madhu Mahajan, respectively.
BCCI Ombudsman Justice D.K.Jain to serve as ad-hoc Ethics Officer
Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman Justice D K Jain (retd) will now serve as the Ethics Officer of the Indian cricket board on an ad-hoc basis. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), provisions in its constitution require an Ethics Officer to be appointed to determine and decide issues related to conflict of interest.
29TH MARCH 2019
1,000 railway stations in India are now Wi-Fi enabled
RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, a Mini Ratna CPSU under the Ministry of Railways, has successfully completed work of turning 1000 railway stations across the country into Free Wi-Fi zone. RailTel started the project in January 2016 from Mumbai Central station in Maharashtra. It was the first station to have the fast and free RailWire Wi-Fi and in a span of two years and three months.  The Reay Road station of the suburban line of Central Railways in Mumbai is the 1000th station to go live with Wi-Fi.
Telangana govt launches digital portal for MSMEs
The Telangana Governmet launched a MSME networking portal, Telangana State Global Linker in Hyderabad to digitise over 2.3 million MSMEs of the state. The solution aims to address key challenges faced by MSMEs with the core objective of making their business growth simpler, more profitable and enjoyable.  Telangana State GlobalLinker will provide MSMEs , a digital profile (including an online product catalogue an eCommerce store); access to global networking opportunities to find buyers and suppliers; economies of scale on a wide range of business services; access to industry news, articles and discussions.
Assam CEO Mukesh Sahu launches Enajori initiative in Guwahati
Assam Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu launched the Enajori initiative in Guwahati. It is a special initiative for persons with disabilities with an aim that ‘No Voter to be Left behind’. It is a joint initiative of CEO Assam and Social Welfare Department with an objective to make Lok Sabha Elections accessible to Persons with Disability, PwD voters.
At 15,256 ft, Tashigang in Himachal Pradesh is world’s highest polling station
Tucked away deep in trans-Himalayas, Tashigang, a small Himachal Pradesh village at an altitude of 15,256 feet, is now the highest polling station in the world. The polling station falls in Buddhist-dominated Lahaul-Spiti, one of the 17 assembly segments that form the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, the second largest constituency in India.

N.K. Singh authored book ‘Indian Fiscal Federalism’ launched
The Chairman of 15th Finance Commission of India, N.K. Singh launched the book “Indian Fiscal Federalism”. The book 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.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY introduces legendary cricketer ‘Virender Sehwag’ as its Brand Ambassador – An online insurance web aggregator has roped in legendary cricketer Virender Sehwag as it’s Brand Ambassador. By signing him, has launched its biggest marketing campaign, spread across the insurance products basket of term insurance, health insurance, life insurance, car insurance and others.  Claims to be one of the leading and trusted online insurance web aggregators, the company have come out with the face of the organization for the first time.
Dhanbad best city for 4G availability in India: Study
In terms of 4G availability, Dhanbad in Jharkhand has topped the list of 50 cities in India, London-based wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal said. Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand, came second after scoring 95 per cent in 4G availability. Srinagar came third with a score of 94.9 per cent.  In Opensignal’s latest “India Mobile Network Experience” report, the company found Jio’s national 4G availability score was a remarkable 96.7 per cent – over 20 per centage points ahead of its main rivals.
Reliance Jio to acquire Haptik in deal worth over Rs 200 Cr
Reliance Jio is reportedly acquiring Mumbai-based Haptik one of the world’s largest conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms for over Rs 200 crore.  Founded by Vaish and Rajdev, Haptik focuses on key customer engagement use cases such as customer support, feedback, order status and live chat and has processed more than a billion interactions till date.
Aussie football legend Tim Cahill officially retires
After four World Cups, an illustrious club career and having risen to the rank of Australian sporting icon, Tim Cahill has officially quit professional football.  In November, the 39-year-old announced he will no longer represent Australia at an international level even though he continued to play for Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen honoured with Oxford University’s Bodley Medal
Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has been awarded the prestigious Bodley Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the University of Oxford‘s world-famous Bodleian Libraries. The Medal is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the fields in which the Bodleian is active, including literature, culture, science and communication.
Turing Award Won by 3 Pioneers in Artificial Intelligence
The 2018 Turing Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of computing,” has been given to Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun sometimes called the ‘godfathers of AI’, for their work developing the AI subfield of deep learning. The trio believed in the potential of AI and brought to the world the innovations such as neural networks, self-driving cars, facial recognition. Initiated in 1966, this annual award is named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing, whose work laid the foundation for computer science and artificial intelligence.
Delhi govt school teacher Manu Gulati gets Martha Farrell Award 2019
Manu Gulati, a Delhi government school teacher, has been conferred the Martha Farrell award 2019 for promoting gender quality and women’s empowerment. Gulati has been instrumental in helping young girls in receiving formal school education. She has also been working with boys and girls at government schools in sensitising them about gender neutrality.
Indian origin scientist awarded
RUJ Group’s founder and chairman, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Joshi, has been awarded with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for his contributions in the field of science, education and medicine, promoting the honour and prestige of India. Dr. Joshi, who belongs to Rajasthan, is a scientist of Indian origin and is based in Switzerland.
·        The theme of 2019 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention was ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India.’
30TH MARCH 2019
India to be guest country at Paris Book Fair 2020
In a bid to strengthen Indo-French ties, India has been designated as the guest of honour at the Paris Book Fair in 2020, while France will be the guest country at the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) in 2022. The announcement was made by the nodal agency – National Book Trust (NBT).  The designation of India as the guest country was declared in the joint statement signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s visit to India in March 2018.
Small savings schemes: Govt keeps interest rates unchanged for Apr-June qtr
The government has kept the interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, unchanged for the April-June quarter. Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Certificate (NSC) will continue to carry an annual interest rate of 8 per cent, while Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) will give a yield of 7.7 per cent and mature in 112 months.  The interest rate for the five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been retained at 8.7per cent. The interest on the senior citizens’ scheme is paid quarterly. Interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4 per cent annually.  The girl child savings scheme Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account will offer 8.5 per centrate during the first quarter of the next fiscal.Term deposits of 1-5 years will fetch interest rate in the range of 7-7.8 per cent, to be paid quarterly, while the five-year recurring deposit is pegged at 7.3 per cent.
GAIL, BHEL tie up for development of solar power projects
Maharatna public sector units GAIL India Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the development of solar power projects.  The MoU is aimed at building a closer strategic partnership between the two state-owned companies for jointly pursuing commercial solar power projects through participation in tariff and viability gap funding based competitive bidding process.  India has set a target to achieve 100 GW of solar power by 2022 so that all citizens can have round-the-clock access to uninterrupted electricity.
Five varieties of Indian coffee get GI certification
5 varieties of Indian coffee have been awarded Geographical Indication (GI), a move that will enhance their visibility globally and allow growers to get the right value. While Coorg Arabica coffee is grown specifically in Kodagu district of Karnataka, Wayanaad Robusta coffee is from Wayanad district in east Kerala, Chikmagalur Arabica coffee from Chikmagalur district in Deccan plateau of Karnataka, Araku Valley Arabica coffee from hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region, and Bababudangiris Arabica coffee from central portion of Chikmagalur district.  The Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, a unique specialty coffee from India, was given GI certification earlier

Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary clinch gold at Asian Airgun C’ship
Young pistol shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary picked up their second gold medals each as India continued their domination at the 12th Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan, Taipei.   Manu won the 10m Air Pistol women’s event on day three of competitions, while Saurabh bagged a team gold in the men’s event. Abhishek Verma also won individual silver in the men’s 10m Air Pistol. 
Indonesia to host Asean School Games 2019 in July
Students from Southeast Asian countries and regions will compete at the 2019 Asean School Games in July in Indonesia’s Semarang city. Students will take part in athletics, badminton, basketball, swimming, lawn tennis, table tennis, volleyball, sepak takraw and Indonesia’s traditional martial art of Pencak Silat.  The 2019 Asean School Games is scheduled to be held from July 17 to 25.  Extra info.:  Indonesia Capital: Jakarta Currency: Indonesian rupiah

World Piano day
A travelling piano placed in a transparent cargo van, voyaged through New York City, making stops at various locations, and inviting people to play it as a special way to mark the annualWorld Piano Day on 30 March.  In 2015, German pianist, Nils Frahm declared the 88th day of a year as the World Piano Day, as modern standard pianos have 88 keys.
31ST MARCH 2019
Govt extends date of linking PAN with Aadhaar number by till Sep 30
The government extended the deadline for linking PAN with biometric ID Aadhaar by 6 months till September 30. This is the sixth time the government has extended the deadline for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to Aadhaar.  In June last year, the government had said that PAN has to be linked with the biometric ID by March 31.
EC comes up with PWD app for over two lakhs Divyang voters in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, Election Commission has come up with a mobile application called ‘PWD’ for making voting easier and implement the poll body’s slogan of Accessible Elections for over two lakhs Divyang voters across the state.  The app would facilitate Divyang voters special facilities including wheelchairs, ramps and transport from home at polling booths during the Lok Sabha elections.
RBI sets NBFC-MFIs’ average base rate at 9.21% for Apr-Jun
The Reserve Bank set the average base rate to be charged from borrowers by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and micro-finance institutions (MFIs) at 9.21 per cent for the first quarter of the next fiscal.  The applicable average base rate to be charged by Non-Banking Financial Company Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) to their borrowers for the quarter beginning April 01, 2019 will be 9.21 per cent.

PFC Becomes India’s 2nd Largest State-Owned Financial Firm
After acquiring a majority stake in REC Ltd (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited), center backed Power Finance Corporation (PFC) become India’s second largest Govt-owned Financial Firm after State Bank of India (SBI), based on market capitalization.PFC has bought the 52.63% controlling stake in REC through Rs 14,500 crore deal with Union government.
South Korea wins 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup defeating India in final
South Korea stunned favourites India 4-2 in the shoot-out to lift the Azlan Shah Cup hockey title after the five-time champions conceded an equaliser in the final quarter of the summit clash in Ipoh, Malaysia.  Hosts Malaysia finished third after beating Canada 4-2 in the third-fourth place classification match.
Axelsen beats Srikanth to win India Open 2019
Viktor Axelsen dashed Indian hopes with a 21-7, 22-20 win over Kidambi Srikanth at the India Open 2019 final in New Delhi. In women’s singles, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon created history by becoming the first women’s singles shuttler to win the title three times, when she beat the third seed He Bingjiao. 


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