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Current Affairs March 26, 2019

1. eBay partners with Google, will allow users to pay via Google Pay for purchases

  • Google and eBay have partnered up to offer customers Google Pay as a payment option to pay for their shopping on eBay.
  • This is part of the company's new managed payments programme, under which it provides customers with the ability to check out without the need for leaving the platform by using their preferred method of payment.
  • This integration will help consumers with Google Pay accounts to complete purchases on the eBay app or website.

2. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observance designated in 2007 to be marked on 25 March every year.
  • It was first observed in 2008 with the theme "Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget"
  • The theme for International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2019 is "Remember Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice".

3. ISRO to launch 29 satellites including EMISAT on first of April

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 29 satellites including the primary payload EMISAT, on the first of April.
  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C45 will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota tentatively at 9:30 AM carrying the satellites onboard.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 29 satellites including the primary payload EMISAT, on the first of April. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C45 will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota tentatively at 9:30 AM carrying the satellites onboard.

4. India ranks 76th on WEF's global Energy Transition index

  • India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index, which has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.
  • China is ranked even lower than India at 82nd position, though it ranks very high at seventh place in the world for regulation and political commitment.
  • Despite its low ranking, India is the second best in the BRICS block of emerging economies, with Brazil being the best at 46th place globally.

5. RBI appoints five-member committee to deepen digital payments

  • Central bank of the country has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to further deepen digital payments and enhance financial inclusion through Fintech.
  • The objective of the conclave is to shape India's continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
  • NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said India's ambition is to emerge as a 10 trillion dollar economy and this is not possible without a revolution in the Fintech sector.

6. Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins $1m global award

  • A science teacher from rural Kenya who donates most of his salary to help poorer students has been crowned the world's best teacher and awarded a $1m prize, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.
  • Peter Tabichi, 36, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote part of Kenya's Rift Valley, has won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.
  • Tabichi gives away 80% of his income to help the poorest students at the poorly-equipped and overcrowded school who could not otherwise not afford uniforms and books.

7. Naresh Goyal quits Jet board, lenders take over cash-strapped airline

  • Jet Airways Ltd Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal have quit the board of the cash-strapped airline.
  • The government has asked state-run banks, led by SBI, to rescue Jet without pushing it into bankruptcy, seeking to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election.
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Current Affairs March 24 And 25, 2019

1. World Tuberculosis Day observed on 24 March

  • Each year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day observed on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
  • The theme of World TB Day 2019 - 'It's time' - puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to scale up access to prevention and treatment,build accountability.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a joint initiative "Find. Treat. All. #EndTB" with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership, with the aim of accelerating the TB response and ensuring access to care

2. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh appointed next Navy Chief

  • The government appointedVice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS).
  • Vice Admiral Singh will take over as the 24th Navy chief from incumbent CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba, who is set to retire on May 31 on completing three years in office.
  • Vice Admiral Singh is the senior-most naval aviator. He will be the first helicopter pilot of the Navy to become CNS.

3. Sri Lanka Captain Lasith Malinga To Retire After T20 World Cup In 2020

  • Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year's T20 World Cup.
  • Malinga made his ODI debut in 2004, in subsequent years becoming the first to take two World Cup hat-tricks and the first to take three ODI hat-tricks.
  • He is also the only bowler to take four wickets in four consecutive balls. His international career has been interrupted by injuries. He even took a one-year hiatus from all forms of international cricket in 2016.

4. NITI Aayog's FinTech Conclave to be held in New Delhi

  • NITI Aayog is organising a day-long FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center
  • The objective of the conference is to shape India's continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
  • The Conclave will be featuring representatives from across the financial space - central ministries, regulators, bankers, startups, service providers and entrepreneurs.

5. 64th Filmfare Award: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt bag top honours

  • Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt bagged the top honours at the 64th Filmfare Awards for their roles in 'Sanju' and 'Raazi', respectively, while Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer 'Andhadhun' won as many as five accolades..
  • In the Critics Awards, Ranveer Singh ('Padmaavat') and Ayushmann Khurrana ('Andhadhun') were announced as the winners in the Best Actor (Male) category.
  • The 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019 kicked off at the Jio Garden in BKC, Mumbai.

6. Navin Chawlas new book titled Every Vote Counts was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari

  • Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla's book 'Every Vote Counts' was launched by former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari in New Delhi.
  • This book is about how the electoral machinery works in India.The book explains about India is on the cusp of change, and with its parliamentary elections coming up.
  • Navin Chawlais a well known and recognized Indian bureaucrat.He is an occupant of one of India's most prestigious constitutional offices as Election Commissioner.

7. Arianespace Successfully Launches Italian Earth Observation Satellite

  • Arianespace successfully launched the Italian Space Agency's Prisma satellite on a Vega rocket at 10:50 p.m. local time from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana.
  • Prisma is the 600th satellite to be orbited by Arianespace and the eigth for Italian institutions or operators.
  • Prisma was built for the Italian Space Agency by OHB Italia as prime contractor, with Leonardo responsible for the payload.

8. RBI again defers Indian Accounting Standards implementation by banks

  • India delayed the introduction of tough new accounting rules for the second year running, in a move that will spare the country's banks from adding another layer to the $190 billion pile of bad loans on their books.
  • The new rules -- based on the IFRS9 standards created in the aftermath of the financial crisis -- were supposed to kick in at the start of the new fiscal year that starts on April 1.
  • The new accounting standards would require banks to make provisions when they judge that a loan is likely to sour, rather than waiting for the borrower to start missing payments.

9. Tata Coffee appoints Chacko Purackal Thomas as MD And CEO

  • Tata Coffeeannounced the appointment of Chacko Purackal Thomas as the managing director and chief executive officer. He will replace Sanjiv Sarin, who retires on 31 March.
  • He will assume the charge from April 1, 2019.
  • Thomas, currently working as the executive director and deputy CEO of the Tata Group firm, has been associated with the company since 2015.

10. President Administers Oath of Office to Justice PC Chose As Lokpal Chief

  • President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the country's first Lokpal.
  • Justice Ghose, a former Supreme Court judge, was named the country's first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman.
  • The oath was administered at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, a communique issued by the President's office said.
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Current Affairs March 23, 2019

1. India Beat Nepal To Win 5th Successive SAFF Women's Championship

  • India continued their dominance at the SAFF Women's Championship with the team lifting their fifth straight title with a 3-1 win over Nepal in the final.
  • Indian Midfielder Indumathi Kathiresanand Nepali forward player Sabitra Bhandari became the top scorers in the match with four goals each.
  • This win has extended India's run in the tournament history to 23 games.

2. Mi Pay a UPI Based Payments app launched by Xiaomi in India

  • Xiaomi launched 'Mi Pay' in India. They are calling it the ' UPI app for Xiaomi users.'
  • Xiaomi has tied up with ICICI Bank for the role of the payment service provider while the NPCI monitored Unified Payments of India (UPI) will be the digital wallet interface.
  • Xiaomi has also assured that the data will be stored in encrypted form and will be secure.

3. CBSE launches new 'Shiksha Vani' app to upload podcast on Class 10, 12 exam evaluation process

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched a new podcast app 'Shiksha Vani' earlier this week. This app will disseminate crucial information to students and parents in a timely manner.
  • The CBSE board also mentioned that its first episode, on the evaluation process of Class 10 and 12 board examinations, has been released on the platform.
  • This episode is helpful for all the students, as when the examinations proceed, the episode helps students understand how their completed papers will be evaluated.

4. SpiceJet joins global airlines' grouping IATA

  • SpiceJet has joined global airlines' grouping IATA as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.
  • SpiceJet has become the first Indian low-cost carrier to join the IATA as a member.

5. Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 6.8% from previous 7%

  • Fitch Ratingscut India's economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8 per cent from its previous estimate of 7 per cent, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy.
  • The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent from 7.3 per cent, respectively.
  • Fitch said, it's benign oil price outlook and expectations of accelerating food prices in the coming months should support rural households' income and consumption.

6. Phone pe appointed Aamir Khan as Brand Ambassador

  • PhonePe, India's fastest growing payments platform announced appointed of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as its brand Ambassador.
  • PhonePe is also an official co-presenting sponsor for the television broadcast of VIVO IPL 2019, and will be launching a series of new TV ads featuring Aamir Khan during this season.
  • PhonePe stands for innovation and trust and has been instrumental in simplifying digital payments for millions of Indians in a very short span of time.

7. Fifa slaps lifetime ban on Ecuador football head Luis Chiriboga over bribery

  • Fifa slapped a lifetime ban on the disgraced former head of Ecuador's football federation, Luis Chiriboga, after finding him guilty of taking bribes.
  • Chiriboga was one of the executives arrested in 2015 amid a massive US-led crackdown on corruption in world football.
  • After finding him guilty, Fifa's ethics judges banned Chiriboga from all football-related activities for life and fined him 1 million Swiss francs
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Current Affairs March 21 AND 22, 2019

1. Paris, Hong Kong join Singapore as the world's most-expensive cities

  • According to the annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the title of most expensive city is shared by Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore-the first time in the survey's 30-year history that three cities are in the top spot.
  • The report looks at 133 cities and the cost of 160 items, such as food and drink, utility bills, rent, and transportation. Using New York as a benchmark, it determines whether prices for these items have gone up or down.
  • The survey will help the companies to calculate cost of living allowances and build compensation packages for business travelers and expatriates.

2. International Day of Happiness 2019 celebrated on March 20

  • International Day of Happiness 2019 was celebrated on March 20
  • United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.
  • Happier Together is the theme for International Day of Happiness 2019.

3. SBI inks pact with Bank of China for business opportunities

  • The country's largest lender SBIhas signed a pact with the Bank of China to boost business opportunities.
  • This MoU will facilitate the clients of both the banks to access banking products and services of each other, which will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Both banks' clients will be able to use the vast combined network to expand their businesses abroad.

4. World Water Day observed on 22 March

  • World Water Day celebrated annually on March 22.
  • An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.
  • The theme for World Water Day 2019 is 'Leaving no one behind'.

5. 33rd Edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (Ind-Indo Corpat) Commences at Port Blair

  • Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN-235 led by Cmde Dafit Santoso arrived at Port Blair.
  • The ship and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary line.
  • It is also a part of the Indian Government's vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), for assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

6. ADB to Invest $50 Million in Avaada Energy for Expansion of Solar Projects in India

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it will invest $50 million in Indian renewable energy independent power producer Avaada Energy Private Limited.
  • Avaada aims to use the capital to expand its solar energy generation capacity in India.
  • Avaada is a developer of utility-scale, rooftop, and off-grid solar projects. The company has secured power purchase agreements of about 1,700 megawatts.

7. Mumbai social worker Gauri Sawant becomes first transgender election ambassador

  • The Election Commission of India has appointed transgender social activist Gauri Sawant, as one of the 12 election ambassadors from Maharashtra.
  • According to the Election Commission, Gauri Sawant's appointment would help in more people from this category getting registered during the final phase of voters enrollment.
  • Election Commission has nominated the renowned sportsmen, film-makers, literary personalities of the respective constituencies as the goodwill ambassadors to induce more voters to vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

8. Finland is the happiest nation, India slips 7 spots, ranks 140th

  • Indian figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on UN World Happiness Report- 2019.
  • The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row.
  • The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, which was designated as the World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

9. India's deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya

  • Barely a year after the discovery of the world's longest sandstone cave Krem Puri in Mawsynram region of Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district, now a cave with the deepest shaft in the country has been discovered.
  • The discovery was made during the 28th edition of the annual 'Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition'.
  • The milestone of this year's expedition was the 503 km of cave passage explored and mapped in Meghalaya.

10. International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure-2019 concludes successfully

  • The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded.
  • In his special address, the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission of India, Shri N. K. Singh called for collective action on resilient infrastructure so that people-centric solutions are found.
  • The need and practical issues concerning finance and insurance for infrastructure were also discussed during the workshop.
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Current Affairs March 20, 2019

1. IBBI, SEBI sign MoU for better implementation of IBC

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • The IBBI and the SEBI seek effective implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code) and its allied rules and regulations, which have redefined the debt-equity relationship and aims to promote entrepreneurship and debt market.
  • The MoU was signed by Shri Anand Baiwar, Executive Director, SEBI, and Shri Ritesh Kavdia, Executive Director, IBBI, at Mumbai.

2. ICICI Lombard partners with MobiKwik for cyber insurance cover

  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance, a leading non-life insurance company, has entered into a strategic partnership with MobiKwik, a digital financial services platform, to provide cyber insurance cover for the latter's mobile wallet users.
  • The relationship aims to provide protection against unauthorised and fraudulent transactions online, across bank accounts, debit/credit cards and mobile wallets.
  • MobiKwik users can enroll under this insurance product at the time of loading money into their wallet or in a standalone format, as per their wish.

3. WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation collaborate for digital literacy in India

  • WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundationhave come together to impart digital literacy training to help tackle the challenge of misinformation.
  • This partnership aims to reach approximately 100,000 Indians with training to spot false information and provide tips andamp; tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
  • The curriculum will be disseminated in multiple regional languages to address the diversity of India.

4. 'i-help' initiative launched in Assam

  • The 'i-help' initiative to promote digital electoral literacy in Assam has been launched in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.
  • The 'i-help' is a joint initiative of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) and Common Service Centres (CSC).
  • This particular initiatve will fill the digital divide and fulfill the objective of turning the General Election more inclusive and participatory.

5. Journalist and author Raghu Karnad wins $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize

  • Delhi-based journalist and author Raghu Karnad was announced as one of eight recipients of Yale University's Windham-Campbell Prize this year, in London.
  • One of the world's most lucrative literary awards, the prize is open to English language writers from across the world, with each winner receiving $165,000 to support their writing.
  • Past winners of the prize include Jerry Pinto, Maya Jasanoff, Teju Cole and Geoff Dyer.

6. Global Recycling Day 2019: "Recycling into the Future"

  • Global Recycling Day is held on 18th March every year, with an aim to change the mindset of governments, businesses, communities and individuals around the world, to see recyclables as resource - not waste.
  • As part of this year's Global Recycling Day on March 18, the theme "Recycling into the Future" will focus on the power of youth and education in ensuring a brighter future.
  • In honor of this year's theme, through its youth outreach program, ISRI offers a number of free resources to teachers to educate children on the science of recycling.

7. Mobile app developed by IIPHG, PHFI to combat exam pressure

  • A mobile application to cope with exam related stress and anxiety for students and their parents has been developed by Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, Gujarat, (IIPHG) in collaboration with National Mental Health Program.
  • The mobile application iscalled `Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior.'
  • It is designed to provide assistance to empower students to do the best use of their ability and knock the exams season with help of parents.

8. Kazakhstan President resigns after nearly 30 years in power

  • Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced his resignation after nearly 30 years in power.
  • The 78-year old leader had ruled the country since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
  • The announcement came less than a month after the President sacked his government, citing a lack of economic development despite the country's vast energy resources.
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