General Knowledge & Current Affairs

March 2020 - 1st to 6th

1: USD 4 million sanctioned by ADB to member countries to contain Corona Virus

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a total of USD 4 million (about Rs.29 crores) to help developing countries in Asia and Pacific to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • The funds will be available for all ADB developing member countries in updating and implementing their pandemic response plans. The work will be conducted in close collaboration with the World Health Organization

2: Muhyiddin Yassin becomes new Prime Minister of Malaysia

  • Muhyiddin Yassin sworn in as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister after the abrupt resignation of 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who had been in office since the general elections of 2018

3: China takes presidency of UN Security Council for March 2020

  • The presidency of United Nations Security Council for March 2020 has been taken over by China
  • China has taken over the presidency with a pledge of strengthening solidarity and cooperation with all the parties
  • It also aimed to ensure that the council fulfills its responsibility and plays a constructive role in maintaining international peace and security

4: Indian-American Seema Verma included in US Coronavirus Task Force

  • Indian-American health policy consultant Seema Verma has been appointed as one of the key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force constituted by US President Donald Trump
  • This task force is constituted to combat the deadly disease that has claimed six lives in the country and infected over 90 others.
  • The task force led by Secretary, Health and Human Services Alex Azar. US Vice President Mike Pence announced the appointment of Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

5: Luxembourg becomes 1st country to make public transport free

  • Luxembourg has become the 1st country in the world to make public transport free
  • The 7th smallest country in Europe has abolished the fares for trains, trams and buses to have a better quality of mobility as well as keeping in mind the environmental issues. More than half of Luxembourg’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transport

1: ‘Pension Adalat’ inaugurated in Jammu

  • The Union Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Jitendra Singh inaugurated the ‘Pension Adalat’ and National Pension System (NPS) Awareness and Grievance Redressal Programme
  • The programme was inaugurated in Jammu. The Pension Adalats will help in on-the-spot redressal of pensioners’ grievances which has given the right of ‘Ease of Living’ to the pensioners

2: “Ekam Fest” begins to promote Craftsmanship of Divyang Artisans

  • “EKAM Fest” has been organised in New Delhi to promote Craftsmanship & Products of Divyang Artisans and Entrepreneurs
  • National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) has organised the exhibition-cum-Fair under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry
  • The NHFDC foundation is working to develop a brand and platform for marketing of products made by Divyang Artisans and Entrepreneurs
  • The name of the brand has been chosen as “EKAM”. EKAM signifies Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing

3: Multilingual version of “Incredible India” website launched

  • The new version of the website and mobile app of “Incredible India” has been launched in three new languages i.e. Chinese, Arabic and Spanish
  • The new version of the website and mobile app of “Incredible India” aims to attract tourists from Chinese, Arabic and Spanish speaking regions

4: Govt launches “Humsafar” mobile app for doorstep diesel delivery

  • Labour of Minister Santosh Gangwar has launched a mobile application named ‘Fuel Humsafar’ for delivery of diesel at doorsteps of Housing societies, hotels and hospitals in the national capital region

5:Cabinet approves merger of 10 PSBs into 4 from 1st April 2020

  • Union Cabinet has approved the merger of 10 PSBs into 4 from 1st April 2020
  • As per the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the exercise of consolidation of 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four is on course and the merger will come into effect from the new financial year 1st April 2020

6: Health Ministry organizes workshop to manage COVID-19

  • New Delhi hosts a national level Training Workshop on COVID-19 Management for all the states and hospitals
  • The workshop was organized by the Health Ministry aims to train the trainers on various aspects to tackle the situation related to novel Coronavirus
  • Infection prevention, hospital preparedness, disinfection and biomedical waste management, community engagement, non-pharmaceutical interventions are some aspects on which training will be provided to the trainers

1: Chilli Festival begins in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh

  • In Madhya Pradesh unique Chilli Festival begins at Kasrawad in Khargone district
  • Chilli Festival is a big business opportunity for traders, investors and exporters. It will also help in fulfilling the Central Government’s goal of doubling the income of farmers

2: New Delhi hosts 35th edition of AAHAR, Food and Hospitality fair

  • New Delhi hosts the 35th edition of AAHAR the Food and Hospitality fair which has been organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) with support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Processed Food Products Development Authority and several apex industry associations.
  • The fair will feature a wide range of products from over 750 participants from India and overseas

3: Uttarakhand Govt announces Gairsain to be its summer capital

  • The state government of Uttarakhand has announced “Gairsain” to be its summer capital. Gairsain is a tehsil located in Chamoli district
  • The state Assembly of Uttarakhand is located in Dehradun while assembly sessions are also held in Gairsain. Garsain was always demanded by the statehood activists as the permanent capital of the state

1: IAF and Savitribai Phule Pune University to establish ‘Chair of Excellence’

  • The Indian Air Force and Savitribai Phule Pune University has signed an MoU to establish a “Chair of Excellence”.
  • The “Chair of Excellence” which will be named as “Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Chair of Excellence” has been planned to be established at Department of Defence & Strategic Studies under this unique initiative of Indian Air Force

2: ICAR inks MoU with Patanjali Bio Research Institute

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Patanjali Bio Research Institute, Haridwar
  • As per the MoU, the specific work plans will be developed to work on the collaborative research programmes in the areas of national interest related to sustainable agriculture development suitable to different agro-ecologies of the country

3: India sign 40 million USD defence deal with Armenia

  • India bagged a deal to supply 4 indigenously built radars (capable of locating weapons) to Armenia in Europe
  • The deal was worth 40 million USD. The move by GoI is to boost the defence sector of the country. The deal is a major achievement for the ‘Make in India’ programme in the defence sector

4: RBL Bank inks partnership with Zomato to launch co-branded credit cards

  • India private sector bank, RBL Bank (formerly known as Ratnakar Bank ltd) inks partnership with Online food ordering and delivery app Zomato to launch co-branded credit cards, powered by Mastercard
  • This partnership will help the online food delivery platform further cement its position in India’s dining market by offering benefits such as Zomato credits on purchases, and increase the reach of its flagship membership program Zomato Gold

5: IIT Mandi signs deal with NABARD for setting up FPOs

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi & Enabling Women of Kamand (EWOK) Society has inked a tripartite deal with the National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for setting up three Farmer Producer Organization in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
  • NABARD has sanctioned an amount of Rs 35 lakhs to EWOK Society and IIT Mandi for 3 FPOs to be established in the next 3 years

1: Nokia announces Pekka Lundmark as its new President & CEO

  • Pekka Lundmark has been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer & President of Nokia
  • Pekka Lundmark will succeed Rajeev Suri who will serve as the President & CEO of Nokia till August 31, 2020

2: Sudhanshu Pandey becomes new CMD of MMTC Ltd

  • Sudhanshu Pandey has accepted additional charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) Ltd
  • He is presently served as Additional Secretary at the Department of Commerce. He was the successor of Ved Prakash

3: Sunil Joshi becomes new chairman of BCCI’s selection committee

  • The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has appointed Sunil Joshi as the new chairman of the national selection panel
  • The CAC comprising Madan Lal, RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik will review the panel’s performance after one year and make recommendations accordingly

4: Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as new Finance Secretary

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed the current Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey as the new Finance Secretary

1: Pune to host 108th Indian Science Congress in 2021

  • The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) announced that Pune will host the annual session of 108th Indian Science Congress on January 3-7, 2021
  • The theme of the ISCA is œScience and Technology for Sustainable Development with “Women Empowerment” and focus on economic growth, environmental protection and social inclusion of all communities using science and technology

2: 19th World Productivity Congress 2020 to be held in Bengaluru

  • The 19th edition of World Productivity Congress (WPC) will be held from May 6 to May 8, 2020, in Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • World Productivity Congress is the world’s largest convention for productivity development that shape future productivity growth. The theme of 19th World Productivity Congress is “Industry 4.0: Innovation and Productivity”.

1: Azlan Shah Cup postponed due to Coronavirus threat

  • The prestigious Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament has been postponed from April to September this year in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak across the world
  • The tournament which was scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from April 11 to 18, will now be held from September 24 to October 3. India is a regular at the event, was not supposed to participate this year

2: Tasnim & Mansi wins bronze at BWF Yonex Dutch Junior International

  • Tasnim Mir and Mansi Singh of India has won the bronze medal each in the girls’ singles Badminton event at the Yonex Dutch Junior International 2020, held in Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Korean shuttler So Yul Lee defeated Indian shuttler Tasnim Mir by 21-19, 22-10 in the semifinals while Indonesian shuttler Saifi Rizka Nurhidayah defeated Indian shuttler Mansi Singh in the semifinals with a score of 21-11 & 21-16

3: SAI announces 1st edition of Khelo India Women’s Hockey League

  • The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has announced the first edition of the Khelo India Women’s Hockey League Under-21 in association with Hockey India. The Khelo India Women’s Hockey League Under-21 will be organized by the Hockey India in three phases
  • The first season of the league will feature the participation of 14 teams. These 14 teams will be further divided into pools of seven teams each following a round-robin format

4: Philippines will host the Badminton Asia Championships

  • The Badminton Asia Championships will be held in the capital of Philippines i.e. Manila
  • The Badminton Asia Championship was earlier scheduled to be held in Wuhan, China. Due to Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China, the Badminton Asia has took a decision to move the Badminton Asia Championships from Wuhan to Manila

5: Rafael Nadal wins Mexican Open title 2020

  • Rafael Nadal defeated Taylor Fritz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the final of the ATP Mexico Open to win the tournament
  • He secured his 85th ATP Tour title. In the women’s final, seventh-seeded Heather Watson captured her first WTA title in three years after defeating Leylah Fernandez

New explosive detection device “RaIDer-X” unveiled at NWED-2020

  • The National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED-2020) was held at Pune, Maharashtra
  • The workshop was organised by High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune. During the workshop, a new explosive detection device known as “RaIDer-X” was also unveiled. RaIDer-X has been jointly developed by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune

1: UNAIDS observes Zero Discrimination Day

  • Zero Discrimination Day was observed globally on 1st of March with a theme: ZERO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
  • A butterfly is the symbol of the Zero Discrimination Day and it is widely used by people to share their stories and photos as a way to end discrimination and work towards positive transformation

2: World Wildlife Day observed globally on 3rd March

  • World Wildlife Day is observed globally on 3rd of March every year to celebrate the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora present on earth
  • The World Wildlife Day also raise awareness about the benefits that the conservation of wild fauna and flora provides to people living on earth. The World Wildlife Day 2020 will be celebrated with the theme: Sustaining all life on Earth

3: World Hearing Day observed globally on 3rd March

  • World Hearing Day is observed globally on 3rd of March every year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world

4: National safety day celebrated on 4 March across India

  • National Safety Day is celebrated on 4 March to commemorate the foundation of the National Safety Council to raise awareness about the safety measures to prevent mishaps and accidents due to lack of awareness

1: Training of Nepal’s Judicial Officers begins in India

  • The Judicial Officers from Supreme Court of Nepal has started their training programme at the National Law University, Jodhpur in Rajasthan
  • The first batch of 30 Judicial Officers will be trained on “Case Management and Court Management”. The course on “Case Management and Court Management” tailored for the Nepalese judicial officers is fully backed by the Government of India under Ministry of External Affairs’ Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme

2: Indian Railways launches its 1st “Restaurant On Wheels”

  • Indian Railways has launched its first “Restaurant on Wheels” at the circulating area of Asansol railway station, West Bengal. The Restaurant on Wheels was developed by refurbishing two over-aged MEMU coaches
  • This unique effort will not only improve the facilities at Asansol station but will also generate non-fare revenue earnings approximately Rs 50 lakh in the next five year

3: 4th Global Ayurveda Festival to be held at Kochi

  • The 4th Global Ayurveda Festival will be held at Kochi, Kerala with the theme of Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India’s credibility. GAF2020 is being organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA)
  • It will be the largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world. GAF-2020 will bring together the world of Ayurveda wellness providers and it’s seekers to one platform

1: Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passes away

  • Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passed away. He was a part of the 1968 Olympics bronze-winning team
  • He was born at Sansarpur village of Jalandhar district in Punjab. He was also a member of the Indian team that won the Asian Games gold in 1966 at Bangkok and the Olympic Bronze in 1968 in Mexico

2: Dronacharya awardee Joginder Singh Saini passes away

  • Veteran athletics coach and Dronacharya awardee Joginder Singh Saini passed away
  • He became the chief coach of the then Amateur Athletics Federation of India in 1970 and also received the Dronacharya Award in 1997 for his contribution to Indian athletics

3: Buddhist religious leader in Bangladesh Suddhananda Mahathero passes away

  • The head of the Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha Sanghanayaka Suddhananda Mahathero passed away in Dhaka
  • He was a revered figure among the Buddhists of Bangladesh
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