22 GPS stations set by GSI across India
In order to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) launched 22 permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) stations across India, which is a part of its objective to establish and maintain a network of continuously operating 35 permanent GPS stations in a phased manner.
22 GPS permanent stations have been set up and remaining 13 will be operational by March 2020
The 22 GPS-Geodetic (pertaining to Geodesy, the science of earth measurement) observatories are located in Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Jabalpur, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar Visakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Mangan, Jammu, Lucknow, Nagpur, Shillong and Little Andaman.
The other 13 stations will be located in Aizawl, Faridabad, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Cooch Behar, Zawar, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Ranchi, Mangalore, Imphal and Chitradurga.
As Per NARSS 2018-19, 96.5% of Indian rural households have access to toilets
An Independent Verification Agency under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G)conducted the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) between November 2018 and February 2019, covering 92040 households in 6136 villages across the country and found that 96.5% of the rural Indian households have access to toilets and they use it.
TARS scheme to fund science projects
Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javadekar, on the occasion of National Science Day, that is 28th February 2019, launched the Scheme for Translational and Advanced Research in Science (STARS) aimed at funding science projects.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma Inaugurates ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ Museum at Red Fort Complex in Delhi
‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Culture (Independent charge) and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mahesh Sharma at the Red Fort Complex in Delhi. The museum has been dedicated to the freedom fighters of our country.
It has been constructed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is the fifth museum to be dedicated to freedom fighters.
The other 4 are:
- Subhash Chandra Bose and INA museum
- Yaad-e-Jallian museum
- Museum on 1857- dedicated to the country’s first war of Independence.
- Drishyakala -dedicated to Indian Art
The museum incorporates the latest technology such as sensors in a state-of-art environment.
♦ Chief Minister- Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Governor- Anil Baijal
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated Refurbished Handloom Haat in New Delhi
The refurbished Handloom Haat was inaugurated by Textiles Minister Smriti Irani at Janpath, New Delhi. The Haat aims to provide infrastructural support to handloom agencies so that they can enhance their sales of handloom products and provide a platform to display a wide variety of handloom products that are produced all over the country.
The task of refurbishing was adopted in 2018.
Three more projects of NIFT were inaugurated at the same event:
- VisionNXT– Trend Forecasting Initiative which will predict the market for various handloom products according to trends, design and colours.
- Indian Textiles and Craft Repository which shall be supported by the DC Handlooms and the DC Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles.
- Design Innovation and Incubation which aims to support entrepreneurs, artisans, start-ups, NIFT alumni and students.
A booklet – World Handmade Textile Biennales was released by Smriti Irani.
These projects shall be housed in the building set up by NIFT- National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Also, regional incubators shall be constituted NIFT campuses of Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, in the following fields:
- Textile for Apparel, Home & spaces (Delhi)
- Smart wearable systems (Bengaluru)
- Fashion and Lifestyle accessories (Bengaluru)
- Apparel including Athleisure and Activewear (Mumbai)
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates BOLD-QIT project in Assam
BOLD-QIT which is Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique was inaugurated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri, Assam.
♦ Capital- Dispur
♦ Chief Minister- Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor- Jagdish Mukhi
Shakuntala D. Gamlin laid foundation stone for NIMHR in Sehore, MP
The foundation stone for the ‘National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation’ (NIMHR), the first-of-its-kind institute in India, was laid down by Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at Sherpur Village along Bhopal-Sehore highway, District Sehore, Madhya Pradesh.
The Central Government approved an outlay of Rs 180 crore for the project for an initial period of threeyears.
The land for this institute measuring about 25 acres was allocated free of cost by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in October 2018.
The construction work of the building will be undertaken by Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Bhopal and is expected to be completed within a period of two years.
Gurgaon became world’s most polluted city in 2018
Gurgaon in the National Capital Region (NCR) emerged as the most polluted region in the world in 2018 as per 2018 World Air Quality Report.
♦ Formation: 1969
♦ Headquarter: Amsterdam, Netherlands
The 12-day Aerial Exercise Red Flag 2019 began in US
Red Flag 2019, the 12-day long advanced aerial combat training exercise held several times a year by the US Air Force, has been initiated at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States.
The exercise is scheduled from 3rd to 16th March 2019 and air forces from United States, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore and Saudi Arabia are participating in it.
About Red Flag
♦ Launched in 1975, Red Flag is the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise.
♦ Participants include combat air forces from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries.
♦ The exercise provides aircrews the experience of multiple, intensive air combat attacks in the safety of a training environment.
BANKING & FINANCE
Loan Agreement worth USD 25.2 Million signed between India and the World Bank for Chhattisgarh Public Financial Management and Accountability Program
A loan agreement worth $25.2 Million was signed between the central government, Chhattisgarh state government and the World Bank. The agreement was signed in New Delhi by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Ms Kamal Preet Dhillon, Secretary, Finance, on behalf of the Government of Chhattisgarh; and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.
It aims to provide support to reforms such as expenditure planning, investment management, budget execution, public procurement and accountability which are undertaken by the state for expenditure management.
♦ Capital- Raipur
♦ Chief Minister- Bhupesh Baghel
♦ Governor- Anandiben Patel
Loan Agreement worth USD 96 Million signed between India and World Bank for Additional Financing for Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project
A loan agreement worth $96 Million was signed between the World Bank, Government of India and Government of Uttarakhand.
It was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Mr. Amit Negi, Secretary, Finance and Disaster Management, Government of Uttarakhand and Program Director, Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project on behalf of the Govt. of Uttarakhand; and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.
♦ Capital- Dehradun
♦ Chief Minister- T.S Rawat
♦ Governor- Baby Rani Maurya
IDBI Bank gets a nod by government to handle import and export transactions with Iran
The government has given a nod to the IDBI Bank to handle import and export transactions with Iran. This has been done to boost the trade between India and Iran amidst US sanctions on Iran.
♦ Capital- Tehran
♦ Currency- Iranian Rial
♦ President- Hassan Rouhani
ICICI Bank acquired 9.9% stake in Kisan Finance for cash consideration of Rs 17.82 crore.
ICICI Bank announced that it will buy 1.49 crore shares to acquire 9.9% stake in the non-banking finance company (NBFC) Kisan Finance for Rs 17.82 crore.
The acquisition is expected to be over by the end of March 2019.
Incorporated in December 2017, Kisan Rural Finance Ltd (Kisan Finance) had registered a net loss of Rs 48 lakh in 2017-18 at a revenue of Rs 4 lakh.
The deal will involve the acquisition of roughly 1.49 crore equity shares with a face value of Rs 10 per share at a premium of Rs 2 per share.
About ICICI Bank
♦ Managing Director & CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Tata Motors’ SUV brand Harrier becomes VIVO IPL 2019’s official partner
Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019’s official partner, TATA Motors, will promote its newly-launched SUV, Harrier, as its lead brand at the event and showcase the SUV by means of the IPL platform.
The highest batting strike rate will win the Harrier Super Striker Award in every match and for the season.
About TATA Motors
♦ Non-Executive Director and Chairman – N Chandrasekaran
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Imran Tahir announced retirement from ODI cricket post 2019 World Cup
39-year-old Pakistan-born South African cricket team’s leg-spinner, Imran Tahir, announced that he will retire from One Day International (ODI) cricket after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
He was qualified to play for South Africa on 1st January 2011 and was selected for the 2011 World Cup.
In June 2016, against the West Indies, he became the first South African bowler to take 7 wickets in an ODI, and the fastest South African to reach 100 ODI wickets.
He will continue to play in the T20 internationals and participate in the 2020 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Oceania Nations will participate in 2022 Asian Games
Olympic Council of Asia decided to invite Oceania Nations to compete in 2022 Asian Games for the first time after a meeting held in Bangkok.
Oceania Nations which includes Australia, New Zealand and a swathe of Pacific islands are expected to Volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, football, swimming and track cycling events.
Asian Games includes 35 sports with more than 10,000 athletes and it is second only to Olympics as a global multi-sport event.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
International Sustainability Award won by TVS Motor
TVS Motor was awarded the ‘Green Era Award for Sustainability’ at Lisbon, Portugal. The company also won the ‘Quality and Business Excellence Award’ for its unmatched product quality. The research for the awards was conducted by Otherways Management and Consulting, France.
The award-event was held at Lisbon, Portugal and saw participation by 34 companies spanning across 25 countries.
TVS Motor is the flagship company of 8.5 billion-dollar TVS Group.
Historic Guinness World Record in yoga in Hong Kong made by over 1,000 people
A Guinness World Record in Yoga was set by more than a thousand people who performed the Virabathrasan or the Warrior II Pose for 3 minutes, in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Hong Kong.
This initiative to promote yoga was taken by Overseas President of BJP for Hong Kong and China Sohan Goenka.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Randhir Singh has been appointed the chairman of Coordination Committee for 2022 Asian Games
On 4th March 2019, Indian Sports Administrator Randhir Singh appointed as the Chairman of Coordination Committee of 2022 Asian Games which will be hosted in Hangzhou, China.
About Olympic Council of Asia
♦ Headquarter: Kuwait City, Kuwait
♦ President: Ahmad Al-Fahad AL-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Kaja Kallas appointed as the first female prime minister of Estonia
Kaja Kallas, the leader of the Reform Party has been appointed as the first female Prime Minister of Estonia, after the liberal Reform Party declared victory in the elections against centre-left Prime Minister Juri Ratas’s party.
The Reform Party secured 28.8% votes against Centre party votes of 23%. The coalition government will be formed between Reform Party and far-right EKRE.
♦ Capital- Tallinn
♦ Currency- Euro
♦ President- Kersti Kaljulaid
♦ Prime Minister- Juri Ratas
Rakesh Kumar Vats appointed as Secretary-General of the Medical Council of India
Rakesh Kumar Vats, currently Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been appointed as the new Secretary-General of the Medical Council of India, as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle by the Central Government.
Dharmendra S Gangwar, currently Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in Culture Ministry, will assume his post of in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Venkata Ramesh Babu appointed as the Director General of National Archives of India
Venkata Ramesh Babu has been appointed as the Director General of the National Archives of India by the Central government.
He is an IAS officer from the 1985 batch and is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Rural Electrification Corporation Limited. Previously, he was the Principal Secretary, Department of Finance in Andhra Pradesh government.
The National Archives of India comes under the Ministry of Culture.
India collaborates with four nations to protect Asian rhinos
India decided to collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia with an objective to increase the population of three Asian rhino species – Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhino and Sumatran rhino, by signing the New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019 at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries, at Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi.
As part of the declaration, the above Rhino Range Countries also agreed to review the population of the three Asian rhino species every 4 years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.
The Greater one-horned rhinoceros is found in the Indian sub-continent.
Indian National Parks with One Horned Rhinos
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Orang National Park, Assam
- Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
- Manas National Park, Assam
- Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Assam
- Jaldapara National Park, West Bengal
- Gorumara National Park, West Bengal
- Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh
Air pollution from stubble burning costs India USD 30 billion annually
According to a study, Air pollution due to crop residue burning in northern India causes an estimated economic loss of USD 30 billion (Rs 2 lakh crore) annually, and is a leading risk factor of acute respiratory infections, especially among children.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way” written by Spiritual teacher Kamlesh Patel launched
The book “Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way” which has been written by spiritual teacher Kamlesh Patel who is famously known as Daaji, was launched recently. The book deals with issues pertaining to destiny and the way it shapes someone’s life.