Current Affairs Today – March 22, 2019

State News

Vaiko moves HC against reopening Sterlite plant :

MDMK general secretary Vaiko has filed an impleading petition in the Madras High Court opposing Vedanta’s plea to permit reopening of Sterlite copper smelting plant at Meelavittan village in Thoothukudi district. In a 25-page affidavit filed in support his petition, Mr. Vaiko asserted that the State government as well as Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had rightly decided to close down the copper plant and also withdraw electricity connection due to environmental concerns.

Keypoints:

  • Sterlite Copper is a subsidiary of Sterlite industries, a company owned by Vedanta Limited
  • Sterlite protests began on March 24, 2018 with people gathering to protest the expansion of the plant.

 

National News

ICF of Chennai Became The World’s Largest Rail Coach Manufacturer :

Integral Coach Factory (ICF) which is Chennai based Indian Railways became the World’s largest rail coach manufacturer by surpassing top Chinese manufacturers. The number of coaches manufactured were 40% higher than those previous year in same time period. ICF had manufactured 2,919 coaches from April 2018 to February 2019 than 2,600 coaches by Chinese manufacturers.

Keypoints:

  • Indian Railways is the premier and oldest coach manufacturing unit became the single largest rail coach manufacturer in the world.
  • Chennai Integral Coach Factory, Tamil Nadu was established in 1952 and is owned by Indian Railways.
  • In this financial year 2019, ICF has set a target to manufacture 3,200 coaches.

CBSE launched Shiksha Vani Mobile App :

“Shiksha Vani”, Podcast app was launched by the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education). CBSE board use this app to send important announcements such as Class 10, 12 exam evaluation process and expects it will be the quickest way to information.

Keypoints:

  • CBSE is established on November 3 1962
  • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi and Anita Karwal is the Chairperson for CBSE.

Lok Sabha passed the Indian Forest Amendment Bill, 2017

The Indian Forest Amendment Bill, 2017 was passed in Lok Sabha which replaces Indian Forest Amendment Ordinance, 2017 passed by the President Ram Nath Kovind in November 2017. Though bamboo was taxonomically a grass, it was earlier defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and its felling and transit required permission. The bill omits bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition of trees. With this, bamboo grown in non-forest areas ceases to be a tree.

Keypoints:

  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change on December 18, 2017.
  • The omission, thereby exempts it from requiring permits for felling or transportation of bamboo grown in non-forest areas.
  • It will encourage bamboo plantation by farmers, which will contribute to doubling farmers income by 2022

Business & Finance/Banking

For FY20 India’s GDP growth forecast trimmed to 6.8% by Fitch

Fitch rating, India’s economic growth forecast to 6.8% from previous of 7% for FY19-20 starting from 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020. Fitch Ratings cut India’s FY19 GDP growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.8% on December 6. The key reason behind the decrease in growth forecast is the cutting of interest rates by 0.25 percentages by RBI in February 2019 after adapting dovish monetary policy

Keypoints:

  • Fitch Ratings Inc. is one of the “Big Three credit rating agencies”, the other two being Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
  • The firm was founded by John Knowles Fitch on December 24, 1914, in New York City as the Fitch Publishing Company.
  • Paul Taylor – President and CEO, Fitch Group

ADB to invest $50 million in solar power project developer Avaada:

An agreement has been signed by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to invest US $50 million in solar power project developer Avaada Energy to help the company scale up rapidly.The investment will come equally from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources and Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

Keypoints:

  • Its Headquarter is located in Mandaluyong, Philippines.
  • President: Takehiko Nakao.
  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • Purpose: To promote social and economic development in Asia
  • Membership: 67 countries

Sports & Awards

India won 368 medals in Special Olympics Games

India won 368 medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games including 85 gold, 154 silver and 129 bronze. The 15th Special Olympics World Summer Games 2019 for athletes with Intellectual disabilities held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. India participated in Judo and Futsal for the 1st time. Medals are won in Judo, Atheletics, Cycling, Aquatics, Powerlifting, Basketball Traditional, Table Tennis, Roller Skating, Badminton, Handball and Footbal 7 side Female competitions in the game.

Keypoints:

  • The next Special Olympic Games are set to take place in Sweden in 2021.
  • Capital of UAE is Abu Dhabi.
  • 284 Indian Athletes participated in this event.

India defeated Nepal, won SAFF Women’s championship

India won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women’s Championship 2019 by defeating Nepal for 3-1 in Biratnagar, Nepal on 22nd March 2019. India won this championship for the 5th time. The competition was scheduled to host in Sri Lanka in December 2018 which was rescheduled as they withdrew. Afterwards Nepal hosted the competition in March 2019.

Keypoints:

  • Dalmia Chhibber of India scored first goal of the match.
  • Indian Midfielder Indumathi Kathiresan and Nepali forward player Sabitra Bhandari became the top scorers in the match with four goals each.
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan withdrews participation in the fifth edition of SAFF Women’s championship 2019.

International News

Abu Dhabi signed to host T10 League for next five years

Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADU) partnered with the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) entered into a five year agreement with organizers of the league for 5 years. The 2019 season of the T10 Cricket Match signed to be held in the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi for the next five years. The first match in the T10 League will be held on 23rd October 2019.

Keypoints:

  • Capital of UAE is Abu Dhabi.
  • T10 was first introduced to the UAE in 2017.
  • With eight squads vying for victory in games with an explosive pace, players featured have included Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Shane Watson and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

High-Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific cooperation held at Indonesia

The 1st ever High-Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) was hosted by the Government of Indonesia in its capital city Jakarta and inaugurated by the Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The theme of the HLD was ‘Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Inclusive Region’. Delegates participated in the debate under 3 themes: Sustainable developement goals, maritime cooperation, and infrastructure and connectivity.

Keypoints:

  • Capital of Indonesia is Jakarta
  • Currency – Indonesian rupiah
  • Prime Minister – Post removed in 1959
  • President – Joko Widodo

Science & Technology

Xiaomi Launches Mi Pay, UPI-Based Payments App in India

Xiaomi launched Mi Pay, a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) Based mobile payment service in India to send money from one bank account to another or between UPI (Unified Payments Interface) accounts on March 20, 2019.

Keypoints:

  • It was certified by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • The service provider of this application is ICICI Bank.
  • NPCI is founded in 2008 and its headquarters located in Mumbai.

Fermi Clocks ‘Cannonball’ Pulsar Speeding Through Space, NASA

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope speeds nearly 2.5 million miles per hour which is as fast as it could travel the distance between Earth and the Moon in just 6 minutes. National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) discovered pulsar hurtling through space.

Keypoints:

  • Headquarters:Washington, D.C., United States
  • Administrator – Jim Bridenstine

Caltech Researchers May Have Found a New Way to Levitate Objects

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) say they’ve found a way to levitate and propel objects using only light – though, for the time being, the work remains theoretical. That means no fuel needed – just a powerful laser fired at a spacecraft from back on Earth. The Caltech scientists devised the so-called “photonic levitation and propulsion” system by designing a complex pattern that could be etched into an object’s surface.

Keypoints:

  • The spacecraft which is sized with nano structures can travel to other stars without having the fuel.
  • This will also help to develop a spacecraft that could reach the nearest planet outside of our solar system in 20 years.

Important Days

World Water Day (WWD) 2019 is being observed on 22nd March

The World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. The theme of 2019 is “Leaving No One Behind”. It focus on the importance of freshwater. It is a day to celebrate water and to prepare for how we manage water in future. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day is celebrated around the world with a variety of events.

Keypoints:

  • In the year 1993, it was first observed by United Nations General Assembly.
  • Headquarters of UN General Assembly: New York City, New York, United States
  •  Founded: 1945, New York City, New York, United States

Bihar Diwas is observed on 22nd March

Every year on March 22 Bihar Diwas or Bihar Day is celebrated to observe the state’s separation from Bengal presidency in 1912. This day marks the 107th foundation day of Bihar and Public holiday in Bihar.

Keypoints:

  • The day denotes the development of the territory of Bihar.
  • The celebrations begun from the residency of Nitish Kumar and celebrated on vast scale by the State Government.