Current Affairs March 3 2019

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Current Affairs March 3 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

CCEA has approved financial support to Tertiary HealthCare Programmes
On 28th February 2019, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which was chaired by Narendra Modi has given its approval to continue the enactment of Tertiary Healthcare programmes for non-communicable diseases and E-Health up to the year 2020.
Key Points
i.
The total cost of project is estimated with an outlay of Rs. 2551.15 crore.
ii. This programme will nourish Tertiary Care cancer facilities scheme,  National Programme for HealthCare of the Elderly, National Programme for Prevention and Management of Trauma and Burn Injuries,  National Programme for Tobacco Control and Drug Addiction Treatment, National Mental Health Programme, National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment.
New Greenfield Airport of Rs. 1405 crore will be set up in Rajkot
On 28th February 2019, Union Cabinet approved the establishment of a New Greenfield Airport at Hirasar in Rajkot, Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs. 1405 crore.
i. Rajkot is the fourth largest city of Gujarat and existing airport of Rajkot is severely land constrained having only 236 acres of land. Therefore the decision to develop new airport was taken by cabinet.
About Gujarat
♦ Capital- Gandhinagar.
♦ Chief Minister- Vijay Rupani
♦ Governor- Om Prakash Kohli

Govt. working on a new scheme for unorganised food processing sector: Gram Samridhi Yojana
Gram Samridhi Yojana, a Rs 3,000 crore scheme funded by the World Bank and the Government of India, is being worked upon by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in order to strengthen the unorganised food processing sector concentrated in rural areas.
i. Roughly 66% of unorganised food processing units are in rural areas and of these, 80% are family run.
ii. The scheme is aimed at helping the cottage industryfarmer producers’ organisation and individual food processors to increase capacity, upgrade technology besides skill improvement, entrepreneurship development and strengthening the farm-to market supply chain.
iii. World Bank will be giving Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore will be borne by the Centre while state governments will put in Rs 500 crore.
iv. The scheme will be run in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab for a five-year period in the initial phase and thereafter in other states of the country.
iii. NITI Aayog has given its approval to the scheme and now the proposal is pending with the Expenditure Finance Committee for clearance.

Scheme for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector launched by Smriti Irani
Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani, launched a comprehensive scheme for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector under PowerTex India in New Delhi where she also interacted with industry associations related to knit wear sector in three clusters of KolkataTirupur and Ludhiana through video link.

Scheme for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector launched by Smriti Iranii. The sector is predominantly Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) in size and mainly located in decentralized sector which is one of the major employment generator sectors.
ii. The main components of the scheme are:

  • Creation of new service centers on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by industry and association in the knitting and knitwear clusters.
  • Modernization and upgradation of existing Powerloom Service Centers (PSCs) and institution run by Textile Research Associations (TRAs) and Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) Association in knitting and knitwear clusters.
  • Group workshed scheme.
  • Yarn bank scheme.
  • Common facility centre scheme.
  • Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme.
  • Solar Energy Scheme.
  • Facilitation, IT, awareness, studies, surveys, market development and publicity for knitting and knitwear units.

iii. Some of the major clusters in the knitted garment sector are Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Ludhiana in Punjab, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata in West Bengal.
iv. Tirupur is the most important export cluster, manufacturing more than 90% of the garment, which is exported, and is followed by Ludhiana.
v. The Ministry has approved combined SFC (Standing Finance Component) of PowerTex India Scheme and Knitwea r Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 487.07 crores out of which, Rs. 439.35 crore is for PowerTex for 3 years from 14th April 2017 to 31st March 2020 and Rs. 47.72 crores for Knitwear for the remaining period of 2018-19 and for 2019-20.

Haryana govt. announces Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi Yojana 2019 
On 27th February 2018, “Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi” scheme was launched by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inChandigarh. It is primarily meant for farmers of the state who cultivate on land with areas upto five acres and the families with an income of less than Rs. 15,000 per month.

Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi Yojana 2019 Key Points:
i. The scheme would provide a sum of Rs. 6,000 yearly and each family has to nominate a member who will be provided with this amount.
ii. The scheme involves two categories of beneficiaries-in the age group of 18 to 40 years and the in the age group of 40 to 60 years.
iii. For the age group of 18-40:

  • Families can receive Rs. 6000 in 3 installments of Rs. 2000 each and amount will be deposited in the account of the head of family OR
  • A family can nominate a member who will receive Rs. 36,000 after five years OR
  • A pension of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month will be received after the person turns 60 OR
  • The nominated beneficiary will get Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 30,000 after five years depending on whichever option they choose.

iv. For the age group of 40-60 years:

  • Rs 6,000 per year in 3 installments of Rs 2,000
  • Rs 36,000 after 5 years

v. The scheme provides insurance facilities of- Rs. 2 lakh on natural death, Rs. 2 lakh for accidental death, Rs. 2 lakh for permanent disability and Rs. 1 lakh for partial disability.
vi. Those who are registered under the Pradhanmantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan, then they could receive a pension of Rs. 3,000 per month after they turn 60, whose premiums will be funded by the government.
About Haryana
♦ Capital- Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister- Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Governor- Satyadev Narayan Arya

‘Jal Amrutha’ scheme launched by Karnataka Government
A water conservation scheme ‘Jal Amrutha’ was launched by Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, in Bengaluru. For the purpose of inauguration of the scheme, a function was organized by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department at Dr B R Ambedkar Bhavan in Bengaluru.
The scheme plans to make people aware about the importance of conserving water and to prompt them to come up with ways to avoid wastage of water.
Key points
i. The scheme will involve undertaking scientific approaches such as water budgeting, water harvesting and water conservation through the use of geospatial data, satellite imagery, topographical and geological data. It is going to be a community-initiative, and will be undertaken by important government departments, Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and private sector institutions.
ii. 2019 has been declared as ‘Jalavarsha (year of water)’.
iii. Karnataka is the second-largest drought prone state in the country, after Rajasthan.
iv. Bengaluru zilla panchayat provided monetary help amounting to Rs 95 lakhs to support flood victims of Kodagu.
About Karnataka
♦ Capital- Bengaluru
♦ Chief Minister- H.D Kumaraswamy
♦ Governor- Vajubhai Vala

79th Indian History Congress held in Bhopal
The 79th Indian History Congress (IHC) was held at Barkatullah University in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh from 26 to 28 February 2019 and saw a presence of over 1,000 delegates including prominent historians.
i. After 2011, this was the second time Madhya Pradesh hosted the event.
ii. IHC was initially set to be held at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra but was cancelled due to financial reasons.
About IHC
♦ Established in the 1935, IHC is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members.
♦ The first meeting of the IHC in 1935 was held in Pune.

Ban on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K for 5 years by the Government
On 28th February 2019, The Centre banned Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir under the Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act, 1967 for 5 years.
Key Points
i. It was made on the grounds that they were ‘in close touch’ with militant outfits and is expected to ‘escalate secessionist movement’ in the State.
ii. The notification issuing the ban was made by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a high level meeting on security which was chaired by PM Modi.
iii. Jamaat-e-Islami J&K is a religio-political organization in Jammu and Kashmir. They received a ban earlier and lapsed it in 1995. Since then it has never been invoked again.

Ban on SIMI extended by the Government by 5 years
On 1st March 2019, Government decided to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which involved in various terror acts in the country for a period of 5 years.
Key Points
i. The Government arrived in the decision as the organization continues to indulge in trouble making activities. The notification stating the ban termed the SIMI as an unlawful association.
ii. Union Home Ministry has issued the notification for the extension of ban under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
iii. SIMI was banned for the first time in 2001 immediately, following the September II attacks. It was again banned on 2003 and 2005 for its Unlawful Activities.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held in Cambodia
On 2nd March 2018, the 7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting was organized in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was headed by Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Acting Minister of Commerce of Thailand and saw participation of ministers from the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs). It was also attended by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation- Suresh Prabhu.

7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held in CambodiaDevelopments that have taken place since the 2nd RCEP Summit on 14 November 2018 in Singapore, especially the ones involving the 2nd Special TNC Meeting held on 25-26 January 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the 25th RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) Meeting and Related Meetings held on 19-28 February 2019 in Bali, Indonesia were discussed.
About RCEP
i. It is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) or comprehensive regional economic integration agreement between 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea).
ii. It involves goods, services, economic and technical cooperation, investments, competition and intellectual property rights.
iii. Once it is finalised, it is going to be the largest economic bloc of the world which would cover almost half of the global economy.
iv. Its member states accounts for population of 3.4 billion people (45% of the world’s population) with total GDP (in terms of PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 38% of the world’s and 29% of world trade.
About Cambodia
♦ Capital- Phnom Penh
♦ Currency-Cambodian riel
♦ Prime Minister- Hun Sen

BANKING & FINANCE

ADB agreed to grant USD 926 Million Loan for Mumbai Metro Rail Project
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a loan agreement of USD 926 Million in order to operationalize two lines for the Mumbai Metro Rail System.It is the Single Largest Infrastructure Project Loan in ADB history.

ADB agreed to grant USD 926 Million Loan for Mumbai Metro Rail Projecti. It will fund the following metro lines totalling to about 58 km:

  • 2A (Dahisar to D.N. Nagar)
  • 2B (D.N. Nagar–Bandra–Mandale)
  • 7 (Dahisar [East] to Andheri [East])

ii. It will fund 63 six-car trains, signalling and safety systems, and help establish a new dedicated metro operations organization to manage the entire metro network in Mumbai.
iii. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will implement the project and will be operational by the end of 2022.
iv. The Project is also ADB’s first co-financing with the Shanghai-based New Development Bank, which will provide USD 260 million for the metro systems project.

RBI constituted a panel under Usha Thorat on Offshore Rupee markets
On 28th February, 2019, Reserve Bank of India has constituted a task force which will be headed by its former deputy governor, Usha Thorat to examine issues related to offshore rupee markets and recommend policy measures.

RBI constituted a panel under Usha Thorat on Offshore Rupee marketsKey points
i. The 8-member task force will aim to ensure stability of the external value of the domestic currency.
ii. The motive behind this is to develop deep and liquid on-shore financial markets that will act as a price setter of the Rupee globally.
About Reserve Bank of India
♦ Governor – Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

PSBloansin59minutes.com emerged as the largest fintech lending platform
 PSBloansin59minutes.com has become the largest fintech online lending platform, as quoted by a report from Credit Suisse. The portal was launched in November 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It provides loans amounting up to Rs 1 crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in just 59 minutes.
Key Points:
i. The report stated that loans worth Rs. 300 billion have been provided and disbursements of around Rs. 250 billion have been done.
ii. Loan disbursal time has been reduced to 7-8 working days.
iii. The average ticket size (ATS) for new borrowers is Rs 27 lakh and Rs 34 lakh for repeat borrowers.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Increasing exports can lead to better Jobs and higher wages in India : World Bank – ILO report
On 28th February 2019, A report titled ‘Exports to Jobs : Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia’ released by World Bank and International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals that increasing exports can lead to better Jobs and higher wages in India.
Key Points
i. As per the report increasing exports will create more formal sector employment for youth and women and would boost the average wages.
ii. Labour market policies can effectively help workers of different groups to acquire right skills ensure that the gains of increased exports are shared more broadly across the society.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Union Minister of Steel presented 25th Prime Minister’s trophy for 2016-17 in New Delhi
On 1st March, 2019, Steel Minister of India,Chaudhary Birender Singh has presented the 25th Prime Minister’s Trophy and Steel Minister’s trophy along with other awards for the best performing integrated steel plants for the year 2016-17.
Key points
i. Prime Minister’s Trophy for the Best Overall Performance along with a cash prize of 2 Crore rupees was conferred upon Tata Steel Limited, Jamshedpur Works.
ii. The Steel Minister’s Trophy along with a cash prize of 1 Crore rupees was conferred upon JSW Steel Limited – Vijayanagar Works.

Bharti AXA General Insurance claimed the ‘Non-Life Insurer of the Year Award 2019’
On 1st March, 2019, ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), which is one of the apex trade associations of India has conferred ‘Non-Life Insurer of the Year Award 2019′ to Bharti AXA General Insurance which is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and French insurance giant AXA.

Bharti AXA General Insurance claimed the ‘Non-Life Insurer of the Year Award 2019’Key Points
i. The award has been awarded for its contribution to the non-life insurance sector during the recently-held Insurance Leaders Meet 2019 and Excellence Awards in Kolkata.
ii. This award recognizes efficacy, excellence and contribution in the insurance industry annually.
♦ Bharti AXA Life Insurance CEO- Vikas Seth.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Air Marshal R D Mathur named as the Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command
Air Marshal R D Mathur assumed charge as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
i. He had joined the National Defence Academy in 1978 and was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1982.
ii. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2003 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar appointed as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command
On 28th February 2019, Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, who is presently the chief of Eastern Air Command, has been designated as the new chief of Western Air Command (WAC).
Key points
i. Raghunath Nambiar is a war hero and he is credited for shooting 5 out of 8 laser guided bombs with his Mirage -2000 during Kargil War between India and Pakistan.
ii. Rajiv Dayal Mathur has been appointed as chief of Eastern Air Command.
iii. Raghunath Nambiar has been awarded with Vayu Sena Medal by President of India for kargil Operations.

Pranay Kumar Verma appointed India’s Ambassador to Vietnam
On 1st March, 2019, Ministry of External Affairs has appointed Pranay Kumar Verma as the India’s Ambassador to Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Pranay Kumar Verma is an 1994 cadre Indian Foreign Services(IFS) Officer and presently working as the Joint secretary at Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
About Vietnam
♦ Capital- Hanoi
♦ Prime Minister- Nguyen Xuan Phuc
♦ Currency- Vietnamese Dong

Ex-Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated as non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda
On 1st March 2019, Hasmukh Adhia, the ex-finance secretary was appointed as non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda.

Hasmukh Adhia appointed non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda i. He has been assigned the post of part-time non-official director and non-executive chairman by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. He would serve for a duration of years.
ii. He is a 1981-batch IAS officer from the Gujarat cadre.
iii. 11th March, 2019 has been fixed as the date for issuing and allotting equity shares of the Bank of Baroda to the shareholders of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.
iv. As per the Scheme of Amalgamation, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of Bank of Baroda for every 1,000 shares held.
v. Dena Bank shareholders will get 110 shares of Bank of Baroda for every 1,000 shares held.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DotBook: India’s first Braille laptop created by IIT-Delhi Scientists
Pulkit Sapra, 26, from Delhi and Suman Muralikrishnan, 27, from Chennai, former students and researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi have created a laptop for visually-impaired called “DotBook”.

DotBook India’s first Braille laptop created by IIT-Delhi Scientistsi. Claimed to be the first in India, the laptop has an interface in form of dots or Braille instead of a visual one.
ii. Instead of a screen, the laptop displays embossed text in Braille through a touchpad and the users get to feel everything a website has by touching the pad.
iii. It is built in Linux and comes with 4 GB internal storage which is expandable up to 64 GB and it can be connected with mobile phones and other laptops to provide a visual display for sighted persons.
iii. They have launched two versions of the laptop, one with 20 cell version (Rs 40,000) and another 40-cell version (Rs 60,000) — each referring to the number of characters displayed in one line.
iv. The 20-Cell Braille Variant has Perkins Keys while the 40-Cell Braille Variant with QWERTY keyboard.

SpaceX launched 1st unmanned Crew Dragon test capsule to space station
With the aim of assuring NASA about astronauts’ safety in future flights, Crew Dragon capsule was launched by SpaceX for the first time. The name of the mission is ‘Demo-1’ and it was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.
i. The capsule did not consist of any humans on board, only a dummy called ‘Ripley’. Ripley’s name belongs to the main character in the 1979 movie “Alien” and it consists of sensors help SpaceX visualise the journey to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
ii. NASA’s Commercial Crew program consists of two test flights- Demo-1and Demo-2. Demo-2 which is going to be the first crewed flight will be launched in July.
iii. According to NASA’s schedule, SpaceX is set to become the first to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011.
iv. Crew Dragon is slated to autonomously dock to the ISS at approximately 6:00 a.m. EST on March 3. It is carrying about 400 pounds supplies and equipment to the space station.

SPORTS

Australia Cricket Team’s tour to India
The cricket team of Australia is currently on a tour to India to play two Twenty20 International (T20I) and five One Day International (ODI) matches from 24th February to 13th March 2019. The T20Is were held on 24th and 27th February 2019 and the ODIs will be held from 2nd to 13th March 2019.
i. Australia won the T20I series 2–0, their first T20I series win against India

  • Australia won both the T20I matches, the first one held at ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam and the second at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, thus beating India by 2-0 and clinching the tournament title.
  • Glenn Maxwell was declared the Man of the Series and also became the first batsman for Australia to score 3 centuries in T20Is.

ii. Records created during the series:

  • Pacer Jasprit Bumrah became the 2nd Indian bowler to take 50 T20I wickets after Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who is India’s leading T20I wicket-taker with 52 wickets during the first T20I against Australia in Vizag.
  • Virat Kohli created a unique record by becoming the first batsman to complete 500 runs against a single opposition inT20Is.He reached the feat in the 1st T20I against Australia in Visakhapatnam.
  • He also equalled Rohit Sharma’s record of most fifty-plus scores (20) in T20Is as he scored his 20th fifty.
  • MS Dhoni became the first Indian to hit 350 sixes in international cricket and recorded his 50th T20I six during the second T20I match in Bengaluru.

British boxer James DeGale announces retirement
James DeGale announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 33.

British boxer James DeGale announces retirementi. He had twice been a Super Middleweight World Champion and is a British boxing legend. He is Britain’s first boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and become a world champion.
ii. He won the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne, Australia and then represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and became the only member of the British boxing squad to win a gold medal. He was honoured with the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty, The Queen for this victory.

OBITUARY

British-Indian, Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya died in London at the age of 78
On 1st March 2019, Academic and Manufacturing expert and founder of Warwick manufacturing Group (WMG), Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya passed away following a brief illness in London, UK at the age of 78.
i.He was born in Bangalore, Karnataka and studied at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
ii.He was awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2002.

André Previn, Legendary Composer and Four-Time Oscar Winner, dies aged 89
Legendary composer and pianist Andre Previn, died at the age of 89 at his home in Manhattan, New York, USA.

André Previn, Legendary Composer and Four-Time Oscar Winnei. He was a 10-time Grammy Award winner and had won 4 Oscars throughout his lifetime. In 2010 when he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
ii. He is known for immortal classics like 1964’s My Fair Lady‘ and 1996’s The Fortunate Cookie.’

BOOKS & AUTHORS

The book titled ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’ released by Arun Jaitley in New Delhi
On 2nd March 2019, Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley released a book titled ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’ during a function in New Delhi.

The book titled ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’Key Points
i. The book gave a rare and exclusive opportunity to readers with unknown facets of Modi’s thinking and beliefs related to ‘Mann Ki Baat’
ii. The book contains 50 episodes of PM Modi’s sincere talk with the citizens of India which is broadcasted by All India Radio.
iii. The radio series started on October 3, 2014.
iv. Mann Ki Baat is a programme hosted by Modi where he address the people of the nation on All India Radio, DD News and DD National which aims to expand the reach of programme as far as possible.
About Delhi
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Lt. Governor: Anil Baijal

Nayantara Sahgal unveiled her new novel “The Fate Of Butterflies”
The Fate of Butterflies“, Nayantara Sahgal new novel was unveiled at a function hosted by Namita Gokhale at Oxford Bookstore, New Delhi.

Nayantara Sahgal unveiled her new novel The Fate Of Butterfliesi. The novel is published by published by Speaking Tiger and describes the toxic dangers of war, religious polarisation and authoritarian charisma, a dystopian future that is already upon the world.

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