Current Affairs Today – March 25, 2019

State News

India’s deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya :

India’s deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya’s deepest shaft cave Krem Um Ladaw has been discovered in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district during the annual ‘Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition’. The cave has a 105 m deep shaft entrance passage. Meghalaya has 1,700 caves and cave locations of which over 1000 have been explored or partially explored. This comes a year after the world’s longest sandstone cave Krem Puri was discovered in Meghalaya.

Keypoints:

  • The name Meghalaya means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit.
  • Capital: Shillong
  • Governor: Tathagata RoyChief minister: Conrad Sangma
  • Formation: 21 January 1972

Paralympics high jumper Girish Gowda named as Ambassador of Karnataka LS Elections :

Silver Medalist in Paralympic high jump, Girish Gowda has been appointed as the ambassador of Karnataka Lok Sabha Elections 2019.He represented India in men’s high jump F-42 category during 2012 Summer Paralympics games held in London, where he clinched silver medal. With this, he became the first Indian to win medal in this category.

Keypoints:

  • Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka – Sanjiv Kumar
  • Chief Election Commissioner of India – Sunil Arora
  • CM of Karnataka – H. D. Kumaraswamy

 

National News

FinTech Conclave commenced in New Delhi :

On 25th March, NITI Aayog has organized a FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi. The Conclave was inaugurated by RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das. The motive of the conference is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future procedure and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for complete financial inclusion.

Keypoints:

  • NITI Aayog is Formed: 1 January 2015; 4 years ago
  • NITI Aayog Headquarters: Delhi
  • NITI Aayog Agency executives: Narendra Damodardas Modi, (Chairman).
  • NITI Aayog Vice Chairman: Rajiv Kumar
  • NITI Aayog (CEO): Amitabh Kant

RSDC launches 1 million ‘Project Saamrath’ :

The Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) has launched Project Saamrath, which is aimed at skilling, upskilling and reskilling 10 lakh personnel involved in the rubber sector, by 2020. The training is being provided under the Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana across natural rubber plantations, tyre services and rubber manufacturing.

Keypoints:

  • The training is provided for jobs such as Latex Harvest Technician (tapper), Rubber Nursery General Worker, Rubber Processing Technician—Rubber Sheeting and General Worker Rubber Plantation, among others .
  • Mr. Vinod Simon, Chairman, RSDC India
  • Meghna Mishra. CEO at Rubber Skill Development Council(RSDC)

 

Business & Finance/Banking

Nandan Nilekani to head five-member RBI panel on digital payments

On 25th March 2019 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to strengthen digital payments as well as to boost financial inclusion through Financial Technology. This announcement made by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das at the first event of Financial Technology (Fintech) Conclave, which was organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi.

Keypoints:

  • With the revolution in the FinTech sector India’s aim is to emerge as a 10 trillion dollar economy.
  • Mobile banking, internet banking, digital payment are examples of Financial technologies.
  • Governor of RBI: Shaktikanta Das
  • Headquarters of RBI:Mumbai

SBI raises Rs. 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III tier-I bonds :

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has raised Rs. 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant additional tier-I bonds. The proceeds from these bonds will help SBI to boost its additional tier 1 capital ratio to meet systematically important bank (D-SIB) criteria to which SBI is mandated to meet. The bonds with a face value of Rs 10 lakh each bears a coupon rate of 9.45 per cent per annum payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter.

Keypoints:

  • State Bank of India CEO : Arijit Basu
  • Headquarters : Mumbai
  • Tagline: The Banker to every Indian

Sports & Awards

Sri Lanka’s Malinga to retire after Twenty20 World Cup :

Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year’s Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia. He would also quit one-day internationals after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Keypoints:

  • He made his ODI debut in 2004, becoming thefirst to clinch two World Cup hat-tricks and the first to take three ODI hat-tricks.
  • Last ODI: 16 March 2019 v South Africa
  • The ICC T20 World Cup match was scheduled for 2020 and Australia host this tournament.

Archana Kamath bags a silver medal in Oman Open table tennis :

Indian paddler Archana Kamath clinched a silver medal in the under-21 women’s singles section of the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Plus 2019 Oman Open table tennis tournament, at Muscat. Archana reached her first under-21 international final, where she lost to Japan’s top-seed Satsuki Odo of Japan 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.

Keypoints:

  • Capital of Oman : Muscat,
  • Currency of Oman : Omani rial
  • Title of Oman Open Tennis : Seamaster ITTF Challenge Plus 2019

International News

India Positioned at 76th on WEF’s Global Energy Transition Index

On 25th March 2019, India ranks 76th (among 115 countries) on a global energy transition index which was compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), based on their energy system performance and affordability. In the second edition of the Energy Transition Index, India improved its rank by two points from last year (2018) higher than China (82nd).

Keypoints:

  • World Economic Forum (WEF) Headquarters : Cologny, Switzerland
  • Founder: Klaus Schwab
  • Founded: January 1971\
  • The top three performers are Sweden, followed by Switzerland and Norway.
  • India scored low in terms of system performance (ranking 97 and 86, respectively), but it ranks considerably higher in terms of readiness to adapt to future energy needs (45 and 61 respectively).

Delhi’s IGI Airport Becomes The 12th Busiest Airport In The World :

According to the preliminary world airport traffic-2018 rankings released by Airports Council International (ACI), Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) of New Delhi has elevated 4 ranks to reach at 12th spot in terms of the busiest airport as compared to 2017’s 16th spot. The list of world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic ranking has been topped by Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (US) followed by Beijing Capital International Airport (China) and Dubai International Airport (UAE).

Keypoints:

  • Airports Council International is the only global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities.
  • Founded: 1970
  • Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.
  • The IGIA (Indira Gandhi International Airport) airport was operated by the Indian Air Force before its management was transferred to the Airports Authority of India.

 


Italy becomes first G7 nation to join China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative

Italy become the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialised nations to join China’s ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure project (BRI), which is inspired by historic, centuries-old trade routes. G7 nations consist of: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. BRI is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin Americaand

Keypoints:

  • Italy capital – Rome
  • Italy currency – Euro
  • China capital – Beijing
  • China currency – Renminbi
  • G7 Members – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States
  • Founded : 1975

Science & Technology

eBay partners with Google, will allow users to pay via Google Pay :

US-based e-commerce platform eBay has partnered with Google to offer Google Pay as a form of payment option in its new “managed payments” plan. The collaboration will enhance customer experience tailored to their personal preferences. The partnership will enable customers with Google Pay accounts to check out without leaving the platform. But it will only be available on products sold by sellers who are participating in the managed payments programme.

Keypoints:

  • Google Pay is a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or watches.
  • Developed by: Google
  • Founder of ebay: Pierre Omidyar
  • ebay Founded: 3 September 1995, San Jose, California, United States
  • ebay CEO: Devin Wenig (20 Jul 2015–)

Norway to get world’s first wireless charging station for taxis :

Oslo, the capital city of Norway will become the world’s first city to install wireless, induction-based charging stations for its fleet of electric taxis with an aim to have a zero-emission cab system by the year 2023 according to a report by Reuters.

Keypoints:

  •  Finland’s utility company ‘Fortum’ will collaborate with U.S. company Momentum Dynamics and the government of Oslo to install induction charging plates in the roads that allow for charging up to 75 kilowatts.
  • Norway wants all new cars to be zero emission by 2025 whereas other nations, like Britain and France have similar goals for 2040.
  • Norway Capital: Oslo
  • Currency: Norwegian Kroner


Important Days

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff

 

On 25th March 2018, International Day of Solidarity with detained and missing staff members was observed all over the world to mark the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a former journalist who was kidnapped by armed gunman in 1985. The day aims to prepare action, demand justice and to protect UN staff and peacekeepers, the workers in non-governmental community and the press.

Keypoints:

  • Alec Collett was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade :

 

On 25th March 2018, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was observed all over the world to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and to honour and to remember people who suffered for the slavery system.

Keypoints:

  • 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”.
  • The day was first observed on 2008 and it was recognized by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting a resolution in 2007.
  • United Nations General Assembly President: María Fernanda Espinosa