Current Affairs

Weekly Current Affairs: March 8 to March 14 2019

National 

  • India's first Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment centre and clinic for the LGBTQ community was inaugurated by the Humsafar Trust in Mumbai.
    • The clinic will provide free counselling and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) used to treat the infection.
  • Enemy Property Order, 2018:
    • The central government has allowed the state governments to put enemy properties into public use. 
    • The central government has amended the guidelines for disposal of the Enemy Property Order, 2018, to facilitate usages of enemy property by the state government exclusively for public use. 
    • Enemy properties are the properties of the people who migrated to Pakistan during partition and also to China after the Sino-India war in 1962.
  • Centre of Excellence for Differently-abled Persons:
    • Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) has teamed up with NASSCOM Foundation, to launch a centre of excellence in Bengaluru for training differently-abled persons. 
    • The centre will train a minimum of 100 PwDs making them industry-ready over the next 12 months with a goal to place at least 50 per cent of them in companies already sensitised for hiring them.
  • Cloud Seeding Project – Varshadhare:
    • ‘Varshadhare’, a cloud-seeding project, was launched in Karnataka to tackle the prospect of a fourth consecutive drought year. 
    • Hoysala Projects Pvt Ltd will carry out the cloud-seeding, will take up the operations from the airports of Hubli and Bengaluru over the next 60 days. 
    • Three Doppler radars will detect the rain-bearing clouds and enable their seeding. As part of the seeding strategy, special aircraft will disperse the chemical silver iodide as they fly through rain-bearing clouds that will trigger and enhance the precipitation.
Weekly Current Affairs: March 8 to March 14 2019

International 

  • Black Hole Coin:
    • The United Kingdom commemorated professor Stephen Hawking in a new 50 pence coin known as ‘Black Hole Coin’.
    • It is a commemorative coin and not for circulation as currency.
    • It was inspired by Hawking's work on black holes outlined in his bestselling book "A Brief History of Time”.

Banking

  • Visually Impaired Friendly Coins:
    • PM Narendra Modi unveiled the new series of Visually Impaired friendly coins of in the denominations of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20. 
    • India got the first Rs 20 denomination coin which is shaped in the form of a 12-edged polygon with a design of grains. 
    • The coins are designed by the National Institute of Design.
  • RBI Eases Business Guidelines for White Label ATMs:
    • Reserve Bank of India has allowed white-label ATM operators (WLAOs) to buy wholesale cash from the RBI and currency chests, source cash from any scheduled bank 
    • WLAOs can buy wholesale cash, above a threshold of one lakh pieces (and in multiples thereof) of any denomination 
    • Banks can issue co-branded ATM cards in partnership with the authorised WLAOs, and may extend the benefit of ‘on-us’ transactions 
    • WLAOs can offer bill payment and interoperable cash deposit services, subject to technical feasibility and certification by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 
    • The operators can display advertisements pertaining to non-financial products/services anywhere within the WLA premises.
  • Childcare Facility by BoB:
    • Bank of Baroda has become one of the first Public Sector Banks to launch a crèche/child daycare facility for children (6 months to 6 years of age) of its employees. 
    • The bank will bear 60% of the cost every month for each employee while 40% will be taken care by the parents.
  • UBI Join Hands with HDFC Life Insurance:
    • 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.

Index and Reports

  • Monster Salary Index: 
    • Men earn 19% more than women in India on an average.
    • The gap has narrowed merely by 1% in 2018 from 20% a year ago 
    • Men (Rs 242.49) earned Rs 46.19 more in comparison to women (Rs 196.3). 
    • In IT/ITeS, there is a 26% pay gap in favour of men; in manufacturing, men earn 24% more than women; even in healthcare, caring services and social work, men earn 21% more than women.
  • Trends in International Arms Transfers-2018 Report
    • The report is published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 
    • The assessment was done for a five-year period (2014-2018). 
    • India has been superseded by Saudi Arabia and dropped down to become the second largest importer of weapons in the world.
  • World Gold Council Report
    • As per the latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC), India has the 11th largest gold reserve, with the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes. 
    • India is the world’s largest consumer of gold. 
    • US is on the top followed by Germany and International Monetary Fund.

Committees

  • Committee on Insurance Scheme for Lawyers:
    • The committee would also suggest modalities for the implementation of such a scheme and would submit its report within three months.
    • The government of India has 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.

Defence

  • $3 Billion Defence Deal with Russia for Chakra III: 
    • India and Russia inked mega defence deal worth over $3 billion for leasing Akula-class SSN from Russia to replace the INS Chakra
    • It will be a nuclear attack submarine customised and fitted with indigenous communications systems and sensors.

Govt Schemes, Web portals and Apps

  • e-Dharti App and Portal: 
    • 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. 
    • Mr Puri 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. 
    • This application will not only benefit public but the Government also in getting to know the actual status of its vacant properties, whether there is any encroachment on the property.
  • Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana:
    • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched the Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana Under this scheme 2.5 lakh children at 20,000 Anganwadi Kendras in the state will be given 100 ml milk twice a week for free.
  • Atal Aahar Yojana: 
    • The Maharashtra government, the Atal Aahar Yojana to provide good quality and hygienic food to construction workers at a highly subsidised rate. 
    • The Yojana will be implemented in some areas of the state on a pilot basis and later, its scope will be expanded. 
    • 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.

Appointments

  • Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Padma Lakshmi appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Mohammad Shtayyeh appointed as Prime Minister of Palestine.
  • C Lalsawta appointed as First Chairman of Lokayukta in Mizoram.
  • Subhash Chandra Garg appointed as Finance Secretary.

Awards and Honours

  • Priyanka Dubey won Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist of 2018.
  • Raghuram Rajan won Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018.
  • The Biju Patnaik International Airport won Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award 2018.
  • India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu won Doctor Honoris Causa (Doctor of Philosophy) University for Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica.
  • ACKO General Insurance won Golden Peacock Innovative Product Award – 2019

Sports

  • 16-year-old Iniyan Panneerselvam from Tamil Nadu won the Noisiel Open in France and became the 61st Grandmaster for India.
  • Kavinder Singh Bisht won the gold medal in 56Kg category at 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament was organized by European Boxing Confederation in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Upamanyu Dutta bagged the bronze medal in the Laser Standard race for men in the Asian Open Laser Sailing Championship which concluded in Singapore.
  • Olympic champion, Liu Hong, broke the world record in the 50 km race walk, finishing in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 15 seconds, at the Chinese Race Walk Grand Prix in Huangshan. She became the first woman to break the 4-hour barrier in the event.

Important Days

  • 8th March is Celebrated as International Women's Day.  The teme for the year of 2019 is"Think equal, build smart, innovate for change"
  • 10th March is celebrated as National Immunisation Day. On this day Pulse Polio programme for 2019 has been launched.
  • 14th March is celebrated as World Kidney's Day. Theme 2019: Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere.

Miscellaneous

  • Marayoor jaggery from Idukki, Kerala gets Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Erode Turmeric of Tamil Nadu has finally received GI tag from the Geographical Indication Registry
  • Areca nut sector, ‘Sirsi Supari’ grown in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka has received the Geographic Indication (GI) tag.
  • The third bilateral joint defence exercise between India and Oman – Al Nagah III will be held at Oman.
  • Kane Tanaka, a 116-year-old Japanese woman born on January 2, 1903, was honoured as the World’s Oldest Living person by Guinness World Records.
  • The Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947) was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The famous biennial Thakurani Jatra festival began in Berhampur, Odisha.
Weekly Current Affairs: March 8 to March 14 2019 Weekly Current Affairs: March 8 to March 14 2019 Reviewed by Shweta Kashyap on March 20, 2019 Rating: 5

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