ISRO and IIT Roorkee signed an MoU to set up ISRO-IITR STC
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) of the Department of Space, Government of India, Bengaluru to set up an ISRO-IITR Space Technology Cell (STC) at IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand, with an aim to strengthen institutional interactions and thereby enhance the scope of the activities pursued under STC commensurate with the programmatic goals of ISRO.
i. The STC will ensure to maximise the use of research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience that exist in ISRO and IIT Roorkee.
ii. The research facility will consist of faculty members, visiting scientists, experts, research personnel, technical, administrative and support staff.
iii. ISRO has been undertaking several student outreach programmes over the past few months in order to develop scientific temper among the country’s youth.
♦ Chairman – K. Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru
Coordinated operation carried out by India and Myanmar against insurgents posing threat to Kaladan project
A coordinated operation was conducted by the armies of India and Myanmar from 17th February to 2nd March 2019 against insurgents in Myanmarese territory to avert a possible threat to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project.
The objective of the operation was to crack down on the members of the Arakan Army, an insurgent group in Myanmar, the members of which had also moved close to the international border along Mizoram.
Setting up of camps by the insurgent groups was being viewed as a grave concern by armies of the two countries and the operation was also undertaken keeping in view the safety of Indian workers engaged in the project.
After a series of meetings between personnel from both the countries, it was decided to carry out the coordinated operation.
About Myanmar (Burma)
♦ Capital – Naypyidaw
♦ Currency – Burmese kyat
♦ President – Win Myint
♦ Capital – Aizawl
♦ Chief Minister – Zoramthanga
♦ Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
3rd edition of Namaste Thailand festival held in New Delhi
The 3rd edition of Namaste Thailand festival, organised by the Royal Thai Embassy with an aim to strengthen bilateral ties and increase cultural exchange between India and Thailand, began at Select Citywalk in New Delhi on 15th March 2019 and will conclude on 17th March 2019.
The festival will feature stage performances by Thai artistes including the much popular Thai folk-jazz band Asia-7.
It will feature a series of Thai craft activities including mulberry paper mini umbrella making, fan painting, body paint, and button badge making along with the traditional Thai cuisines.
♦ Capital – Bangkok
♦ Currency – Thai baht
♦ Prime minister – Prayut Chan-o-cha
Brazil hosted first BRICS Sherpa Meeting
The first BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Sherpa meeting held in Curitiba, Brazil under the Presidency of Brazil. Indian delegation was led by Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs T S Tirumurti.
♦ Headquarters – Shanghai, China
♦ President – K V Kamath
SCO’s RATS Council Meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
34th Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisations (SCOs) Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
About Regional Anti- Terrorist Structure (RATS)
♦ Headquarters – Tashkent, Uzbekistan
India captained resolutions on single-use plastics and sustainable nitrogen management at UN Environment Assembly
The 4th session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in Nairobi, Kenya where the India piloted resolutions on single-use plastics and sustainable nitrogen management. The theme of the 4th session of UNEA was Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable production and consumption.
About United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
♦ Headquarters – Nairobi, Kenya
♦ Head – Joyce Msuya
India -US DTII meeting held in Washington
7th India – US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTII) which focused on encouraging the United States and Indian industry to work together held in Washington DC, United States.
About United States
♦ Capital – Washington DC
♦ Currency – Dollar
♦ President – Donald Trump
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI, ICICI and HDFC named as Systemically Important Banks by RBI
Reserve Bank of India named State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). The banks which are too big to fail are named by the RBI.
About State Bank of India
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Rajnish Kumar
About ICICI Bank
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ MD and CEO – Sandeep Bakshi
About HDFC Bank
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ MD – Aditya Puri
SBI launches cardless ATM withdrawal with YONO Cash
The State Bank of India has launched a new service called ‘YONO Cash’ for its customers using which customers can withdraw money from ATMs without using debit cards.
RBI issues guidelines to prevent market abuse
The Reserve Bank of India has declared some guidelines to stop misuse of price-sensitive information by the participants in markets for financial instruments.
Microsoft launched Project ‘Sangam’ to boost India’s Swachh Bharat Mission
Microsoft has announced that it has partnered with The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to promote its Project ‘Sangam’ which is developed to accelerate Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in India. It is one of the world’s largest Cleanliness Programme.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Manmohan Singh presented the BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Arun Jaitley for introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh presented the BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, for successfully introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
About (Goods and Services Tax) GST
GST Bill was first introduced in 2014 as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill and got an approval in 2016. It is a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale, and consumption of goods and services for the whole nation. GST have been categorized under four tax slabs, which are 5%, 12%,18%, and 28%.
Swati Shingade bags first prize of DD Mahila Kisan Award
Swati Shingade of Pune, has bagged the first prize of DD Mahila Kisan Award for 2018-19.
A Surya Prakash, the Chairman Prasar Bharati, gave this award to Ms Swati Shingade at a grand finale event organized by DD Kisan Channel in New Delhi.
The Kisan Channel has provided a platform to the women farmers and the main purpose of the channel is to make aware the people about the various schemes of the government.
Kathak dancer Seema Mehta conferred with Nari Shakti Puraskar by the President
President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar‘ to the renowned Kathak dancer Seema Mehta for her contribution towards women empowerment over the last 15 years at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi as part of the Women’s Day celebrations.
She began her journey in Kathak and set up her dance school in Mumbai in 2010.
She is the Director of ‘Chhandam Nritya Bharati‘ in Mumbai and was actively involved in promotion of Kathak dance form.
♦ State of Origin – Uttar Pradesh
♦ One of the 8 major forms of Indian classical dance.
♦ Found in 3 distinct forms, called “Gharanas”, named after the cities where the Kathak dance tradition evolved – Jaipur, Banaras and Lucknow.
Tata, Reliance and Airtel ranked as top 3 Indian brands of 2019
A recent report by brand consultancy Interbrand, a division of Omnicom Group, Tata, Reliance and Airtel are the top three Indian brands of 2019, with Tata holding the top position as its brand value grew by 6%, mainly due to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Reliance took the second position as its brand value grew by 12%, mainly due to 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.
Kishore Biyani-owned Big Bazaar grabbed the 33rd spot with Rs.26.86 billion, along with supermarket chain DMart at 37 with Rs.20.15 billion.
Along with Big Bazaar and DMart, Nerolac Paints, which came in at 39 with a brand value of Rs.19.19 billion, were the three new entrants in this year’s ranking.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Anurag Bhushan appointed the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Malawi
Anurag Bhushan (Indian Foreign Service: 1995 cadre), presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Malawi.
♦ Capital – Lilongwe
♦ Currency – Kwacha
♦ President – Peter Mutharika
Santosh Jha appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Uzbekistan
Santosh Jha (Indian Foreign Service:1993 cadre), presently Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Uzbekistan.
He will be succeeding Mr. Vinod Kumar.
♦ Capital – Tashkent
♦ Currency – Uzbekistani soʻm
♦ President – Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Ms.Padmaja appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Fiji
Ms. Padmaja has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Fiji.
At Present, Ms. Padmaja working as Deputy Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
♦ Capital: Suva
♦ Currency: Fijian dollar
♦ President: Jioji Konrote
♦ Prime Minister: Frank Bainimarama
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Bandhan Bank Gets RBI Nod to Acquire Gruh Finance
Reserve Bank of India provided a no objection to Kolkata headquartered Bandhan Bank for the proposed acquisition of Gruh Finance.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Scientists at UT developed solar-powered device that creates water from thin air
Researchers led by Guihua Yu from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, USA have developed a novel solar-powered harvesting system that absorbs moisture from the air and converts it into clean, usable water. The technology is described in the journal Advanced Materials and could be used in disaster situations, water crises or poverty-stricken areas and developing countries.
Election Commission introduces mobile app for observers
The Election Commission has launched a mobile application ‘Observer App’ through which the Electoral Observers can submit the relevant document and material to Election Commission directly.