Overview of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a 2 day visit to Gujarat.

  • PM inaugurated 750 beds Annexe of GGS Hospital in Jamnagar
  • Foundation stone of Vishva Umiyadham Complex laid by PM
  • ‘One Nation, One Card’ for transport mobility launched by PM
  • Pension scheme PM Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana launched by PM
  • Modi offered prayers at Shree Annapurna Dham Temple Adalaj
  • Foundation stone of Shikshan Bhavan and Vidyarti Bhavan laid by Modi at Adalaj.

Government introduces schemes to provide financial assistance for transport, marketing of agriculture products to boost export

Government of India with a view to boost to export of farm commodities to certain countries in Europe and North America introduced a scheme for providing financial assistance for transport and marketing of agriculture products.

Model guidelines for development and regulation of retirement homes issued by the Government

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs prepared Model Guidelines for Development and Regulation of Retirement Homes that address the special needs and protect the rights of senior citizens and retirees living in Retirement Homes who aspire to spend their retired life independently in a safe, secure and dignified environment.

The Guidelines provide option to senior citizens and family members, who are willing and can afford to purchase a living space for their parents. The guidelines state that:

There is a provision of a twofold mechanism in the form of refundable Interest Free Maintenance Security Deposit (IFMS) and Maintenance ChargesIFMS to be paid by the Allottee which is refundable within a maximum period of 3 months from the date of refund application. Maintenance Charges to be paid by the resident on lump-sum or monthly/ quarterly/ yearly installments on mutually agreed terms.

The number of senior citizens in India, has increased from 7.6 crore in 2001,  to 10.4 crore in 2011 and is expected to grow to 17.3 crore by 2025 and about 24 crores by 2050. By the end of the century, nearly 34% of the total population of the country is expected to be of senior citizens.

NITI Aayog Development ranking topped by 3 districts of Jharkhand

NITI Aayog’s list of aspirational districts for the period of December 2018-January 2019 has been topped by 3 districts of Jharkhand- Chatra, Sahibganj, and Hazaribagh. These districts are also said to have performed well in ‘health and nutrition’ parameters.

This ranking was released by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.

In terms of education, the top ranks were attained by Sonbhadra (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand) and Chatra (Jharkhand).
About Aspirational Districts Programme
It took into account the incremental progress made by 112 aspirational districts in the period December 2018-January 2019.

Progress in six areas such as health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure is considered.

It was launched on January 5, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Piyush Goyal dedicated NTPL’s 1,000-MW thermal power project to the country

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal dedicated to the nation a 1,000-megawatt (MW) thermal power project of Neyveli Tamil Nadu Power Ltd (NTPL) at Thoothukudi and a 150-MW solar power projects of NLC India Ltd (NLCIL) at Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar districts in Tamil Nadu.

The 1,000-MW coal-fired thermal power project of NTPL is a joint venture between NLCIL and TANGEDCO with an equity participation of 89:11.

NLCIL has installed 591 MW of solar power and 51 MW of wind power plants in various parts of Tamil Nadu.

2,980 MW of thermal power plant and 776.5 MW of solar power plants are under construction.

Odisha Government announces financial assistance for craftsmen

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ for financial assistance to craftsmen. The nodal department of the scheme is the Directorate of handicrafts.

About Odisha
♦ Capital: Bhubaneshwar
♦ CM: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal



India offers world’s cheapest mobile data: UK report

 India has the cheapest mobile data in the world as per the research by price comparison site global average was USD 8.53 for 1GB.

About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
♦ Chairman: Ram Sewak Sharma
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi

Mumbai become world’s 16th most costly prime residential market: Knight Frank Report

According to a Knight Frank Report, Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India, has become the 16th most expensive prime residential market in the world and is the only Indian city to feature in the global top 20 list of expensive prime residential markets recorded in The Wealth Report 2019.

In terms of the growth in prices of prime residential properties globally, Mumbai ranked 67th with 0.3% rise in prices in 2018.

Delhi (55th) and Bengaluru (56th) did better than Mumbai with 1.4% and 1.1% price appreciation, respectively.

Malaysia joined the International Criminal Court

Malaysia became a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent war crimes court which aims to prosecute the worst abuses when national courts are unable or unwilling.

Malaysia is the 124th member of the court since its establishment in 2002.

Its new government, which came to power in 2018, had vowed to join the ICC.
About ICC
♦ Headquarters –  The Hague, Netherlands
♦ President – Eboe-Osuji
About Malaysia
♦ Capital – Kuala Lumpur
♦ Currency – Ringgit
♦ Prime Minister – Mahathir Mohamad



World Bank to grant 250 Million dollars for NRETP to boost Rural incomes in India

In order to provide a boost to rural income across 13 states on India, World Bank shall provide $250 million support to the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP). The agreement was signed between the World Bank and Government of India.

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 and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India.

World Bank to provide Rs 2,200 crores for a healthcare project to Andhra Pradesh

The World Bank has decided to provide a loan of Rs. 2200 crores ($328-million) to Andhra Pradesh for implementation of the AP Health Systems Strengthening Project (APHSSP). The loan agreement was signed between the Government of Indiagovernment of Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank.

The agreement was signed by Bandana Preyashi, director, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (GoI), Poonam Malakondaiah, Special Chief Secretary (Medical and Health, AP government) and Mohini Kak and Kari L Hurt, representatives of World Bank in India.
About Andhra Pradesh
♦ Capital- Amaravati (de facto)
Hyderabad (de jure)
♦ Chief Minister- N. Chandrababu Naidu
♦ Governor- E. S. L. Narasimhan

National Housing Bank proposes stricter regulations for Housing Finance Companies

National Housing Bank (NHB), a mortgage sector regulator and a fully owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to impose stricter regulations on the Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to prevent them from falling prey to liquidity and credit risks.
Following proposals have been put forward:

Increasing the capital adequacy ratio (CAR)of these companies from 12%to 15%, in a phased manner by 31st March 2022. This will be accomplished by increasing the minimum CAR to 13% by 31st March 2020, 14 % by 31st March 2021 and 15 % by 2022.

Bringing down the public borrowings to 12 times of the Net Owned Fund (NOF) from the existing 16 times, by March 2022.

Implementing graded reduction in the limit on the overall borrowings of Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) from 16 times of Net Owned Fund (NOF) to 14 times of Net Owned Fund (NOF) by 31st March 2020, 13 times of Net Owned Fund (NOF)by 31st March 2021 and 12 times of Net Owned Fund (NOF)by 31st March 2022.

SBI and Hitachi Payment Services launched SBIPSPL to establish digital payments platform in India

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), for establishing a digital payments platform for India and other countries in the region, in Mumbai.

It will facilitate expansion of the digital payments landscape in India via its digital payments platform and offer innovative products to suit the requirements of all segments of merchants by leveraging the brand value and vast distribution network of SBI, and bring Artificial Intelligence and other technological capabilities of Hitachi to SBI Payment Services.

SBI has a 74% stake in the joint venture and the balance 26% is with Hitachi Payment Services.



ICC bans former Zimbabwe Cricket Director Enock Ikope for 10 years

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned former Zimbabwe Cricket director Enock Ikope for a period of 10 years for the offence of breaching ICC’s anti-corruption codes.

In 2018, he had been suspended after being charged under ICC’s Article 2.4.6 and Article 2.4.7. These articles constitute offences like refusal in cooperation and delaying the investigation being conducted by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).

He is the second person from the Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association to be punished by the ICC, the first being Rajan Nayer who was banned from cricket for 20 years for his involvement in match fixing.
About Zimbabwe
♦ Capital- Harare
♦ President- Emmerson Mnangagwa

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recognises Kudo International Federation India as National Sport Federation

Kudo International Federation India (KIFI) has been provisionally recognised as National Sport Federation by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The recognition shall be granted if it complies with the provisions of National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 and displays information on the website according to the ministerial guidelines.
The recognition would provide a major chance to KIFI Association for promoting and developing Kudo in India.  The sport is placed in the ‘Others’ category.



Swachh Survekhshan 2019 Awards presented by President Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Swachh Survekhshan 2019 Awards in New Delhi and appreciated those who are taking active part in cleanliness drive in the country.

Indore bagged award for cleanest city for third straight year in Swachh Survekshan.

New Delhi Municipal Council area gets cleanest small city award while  Uttarakhand’s Gauchar was adjudged Best Ganga Town in the survey.

Top ranked cities received a statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi as award for their work towards cleanliness.

Swachh Survekshan 2019 covered all Urban Local Bodies in the country, making it the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker Prize, the highest honour

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who integrated the East and West in his creative designs has been honoured with Pritzker Architecture Prize 2019. This prize was incorporated in 1979 and is said to be the highest international honour in the field of architecture.

The prize was announced by the jury of the Hyatt Foundation.

He is the 8th Japanese to be honoured with this award.

The award ceremony will be held in May, 2019 at the Chateau de Versailles in France.

Kylie Jenner becomes world’s youngest self-made billionaire

Kylie Jenner was declared by Forbes magazine as the youngest ever self-made billionaire.

The credit of this success goes to her company Kylie Cosmetics which introduced the popular Kylie Lip kit.

She is 21 and holds the 2,057th position in whether her wealth was self-made or inherited.

Mukesh Ambani ranks 13th richest person with $50 bn net worth in the Forbes Billionaire List

Reliance Industries Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, jumped six positions to rank 13th on Forbes World’s Billionaires list with USD 50 billion wealth and leads 106 billionaires from India on the list where Wipro Chairman Azim Premji ranked 36th with USD 22.6 billion wealth.

Last year, he was ranked 19th with USD 40.1 billion.

The list was topped by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and family with USD 131 billion wealth followed by Bill Gates (USD 96.5 bn) in the 2nd place and Warren Buffet (USD 82.5 bn) on the 3rd.
Other Indians in the list include:

  • Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Birla (122nd)
  • Chairman and founder of the Adani Group Gautam Adani (167th)
  • Bharti Airtel head Sunil Mittal (244th)
  • co-founder of consumer goods giant Patanjali Ayurveda Acharya Balkrishna (365th)
  • Piramal Enterprises Chair Ajay Piramal (436th)
  • Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (617th)
  • Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy (962nd)
  • RCom chairman Reliance Anil Ambani (1349th).


2nd Senior-most Judge of SC Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri retired

65-year-old, Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, has retired.

His career began in 1977 when he enrolled as an advocate and was appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court on July 7, 1999.

He became Acting Chief Justice of the High Court on October 10, 2011 and was elevated as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 23, 2012, before beginning his tenure in the Supreme Court.

He is a serving member of the Academic Council of National Judicial Academy, the Committee on Restatement of Law,International Law Association (India Branch), Governing Council of Bangalore Law University and the Directorate of Legal Studies and Law Reforms Committee.
Related Points
♦ Chief Justice of India – Ranjan Gogoi (46th)


First exoplanet Kepler-1658b confirmed by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope

Ten years after its launch, NASA’s Kepler Mission has discovered and received confirmation for its first exoplanet Kepler-1658 b.
Characteristics of Kepler-1658 b:

Google launches Bolo app to help children in India with reading, comprehension skills

Google India has unveiled an app- Bolo which focuses on improving the reading and comprehension skills of students, especially the ones in rural areas.

The Beta version of the app was launched after a pilot project with support from ASER centre was conducted in around 200 villages of Uttar Pradesh with a sample size of almost 900 students.

Bolo has an in-built reading companion called ‘Diya’ whose primary task is to encourage, aid, explain and correct the users as they read aloud.

It has been launched on the Google Play Store in India and has compatibility with all Android smartphones running on Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher.

Thought of the Day.

”The best way to change the society and the underlying issues is to channelize the power of women in every walk of life”

Quiz based on Daily Current Affairs 7 MARCH 2019

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