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Defence Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

DRDO prepared four different items ready to be deployed in War against Corona:

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has prepared four different items ready to be deployed in the war against Corona as a result of a focused approach.
DRDO`s efforts:
♦ The four different items prepared by DRDO are Hand sanitizer, Ventilators, N99 masks, Body Suits.
♦ Hand sanitizers, the basic instrument against the spread of COVID-19, have been developed in-house at DRDO. DRDO has distributed hand sanitizers to Indian Armed forces, Armed Forces Medical Corps, Defence Security Corps, Ministry of Defence, Delhi Police and 40 nakas so far. Sanitizers were produced in the DRDO lab, Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior.
♦ As COVID-19 affects pulmonary functions, DRDO is on to create a ‘Multi patient-ventilator’ wherein several patients can be supported by a single ventilator. DRDO announced around 5,000 ventilators will be produced in the first month and 10,000 subsequently.
♦ N99 masks have developed five-layer N99 masks with two layers of nanomesh that are very advanced. DRDO assured to prepare 10,000 N99 masks per day.
♦ Body Suits were manufactured for medical and paramedical staff to manage and evacuate the causalities in the event of radiological emergencies.




Schemes Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

Cabinet approved the continuation of RoSCTL scheme from 1 April:

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved for continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme from 1 April 2020. Until then, the scheme will be merged with the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP). It is expected to make the textile sector competitive by rebating all taxes and levies that are currently not being rebated under any other mechanism.
RoSCTL Scheme:
♦ RoSCTL Scheme is an export incentive that is offered on the basis of the Freight on Board (FOB) value of the export.
♦ It will replace the Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) scheme. 
♦ The introduction for RoSCTL was notified by the Ministry of Textiles in March 2019.
♦ RoSCTL will be implemented through a scrip-based system on the export of garments and made-ups. 
♦ Under the scheme, the rates were notified in four schedules. Schedules 1 and 2 specify the Central and State taxes and levies for apparel and made-ups. Schedules 3 and 4 will give the Central and State taxes applicable for apparel export when the fabric has been imported duty-free under the Special Advance Authorisation Scheme.
♦ The scheme was introduced due to the increasing international pressure on export incentives provided by the Indian government.




Science & Technology Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

ARCI developed technology to improve fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines:

International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) developed ultrafast laser surface texturing technology. The technology can improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines.
♦ Laser surface micro-texturing offers precise control of the size and shape.
♦ The density of micro-surface texture features gains momentum as a way to control friction and wear. 
♦ The special feature of the technology is a pulsating laser beam creates micro-dimples or grooves on the surface of materials in a very controlled manner. 
♦ The texture traps wear debris when operating under dry sliding conditions. It provides effects like enhancing oil supply that can lower friction coefficients and may enable reduced wear rate. This will improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines.

India to begin coronavirus antibody tests:

India is expected to begin coronavirus antibody tests to confirm whether a person has been previously infected with the virus. The change is intended to help you understand the country`s COVID-19 epidemiology.


♦ The antibody test is named as "serological test".

♦ The test looks for antibodies in the blood, it is different from the current, diagnostic tests that determine active infection through nasal or throat swabs. 

♦ Serological tests will help the scientists and doctors to determine if a person has previously had a viral infection, based on the presence of antibodies in the blood, possibly even if they were asymptotic.

♦ It is not a confirmatory test. It will be used for the purpose of surveillance to generate data and understand whether people got exposed to the virus. 







Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

Cabinet approved MoU signed between India and Germany to enhance Railway sector:

The Union Cabinet led by the PM Narendra Modi apprised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ministry of Railways, GoI and DB Engineering & Consulting GMBH of Germany. The MoU was signed for technological cooperation in the Railway Sector. The agreement was signed in February 2020.
MoU Provisions:
♦ The MoU will freight operations, passenger operations and infrastructure building and management between the countries in the railway sector.
♦ It will enhance the development of a modern, competitive railway organization, IT solutions for railway operations, marketing and sales and administrative purposes.
♦ It will also improve predictive maintenance, private train operations between the two parties.
Ministry of Railways have signed several MoUs, Memorandums of Cooperation (MoCs), Administrative Arrangements (AAs) and Joint Declarations of Intent (JDI) for technical cooperation in the rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways in several areas including development of world-class stations, high-speed rail, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, speed raising of existing routes, etc.




Important Days Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

World Meteorological Day is observed on 23rd March:

The World Meteorological day is observed on 23 March. The day is celebrated by the World Meteorological Organization. The day marks the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization.
The theme of the 2020 World Meteorological day is "Climate and Water." The theme focus on climate change for the year 2020 is "Count Every Drop, Every Drop Counts." The day focuses on the challenges posed by the water crisis, floods and droughts, and lack of access to clean supplies.
World Meteorological Day:
World Meteorological Organization was established on 23 March 1950. The day showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society. On this day, several activities are hosted around the world. 
World Meteorological Organization:
Formation: 23 March 1950
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
President: Gerhard Adrian, Germany
Secretary-General: Petteri Taalas, Finland
Member states: 193
WMO functions under the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed on 24 March:

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed on 24 March. The day pays tribute to those who have devoted their lives to and lost their lives in the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.


The day is observed to pay tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. He was murdered on 24 March 1980. 

In 2006, the UN decided that the people had the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law. Also, the right was linked to governments` duty and obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations, and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations.


On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated the observation of 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.






International Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

UN to create global coronavirus fund:
The United Nations (UN) has announced that it is to create a fund to support the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide. The announcement was made by Norway`s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide. A formal announcement is yet to be made.
♦ The move aims to provide predictability to the partners and help to make the efforts more effective.
♦ The fund will assist developing countries with weak health systems to address the crisis and to tackle the long-term consequence.
♦ Almost 340,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world, and more than 14,500 have died.
IMF says COVID-19 might cause a global recession:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a global recession in 2020. The recession could be worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. It is also expected that the world economic output should recover in 2021. The information was passed by the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
♦ Many countries have taken extraordinary measures to boost health systems and protect affected companies and workers.
♦ Also, several steps have been taken by central banks of the countries to ease monetary policy.
♦ The finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 (G20) of the world`s largest economies agreed on the need for solidarity across the globe.
♦ IMF has asked all the countries to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage due to the COVID-19.
♦ IMF asked its members to contribute funds to its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust in order to help the poorest countries.
US cuts USD 1 billion aid to Afghanistan after Pompeo trip to Kabul:
The United States has cut $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan as Afghan`s leaders failed to agree on forming a new government. The slash was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his visit to Kabul to meet with Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdulla.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah informed Pompeo that they do not agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provides for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens.
The US has supported the Afghan government since it invaded the country in 2001 and overthrew the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks. The US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan under the terms of its agreement with the Taliban. As per the agreement, the US will continue to withdraw its troops in the next several months from about 13,000 to 8,600.




Sports Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to be postponed:

Japanese authorities are planning to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The final decision will be announced soon. It was announced by Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee. 


The game will not be cancelled but will be postponed. The organizers are still discussing if they could still secure the Olympic venues for all 33 sports, and for the Paralympics. 

Japan`s official budget for the Olympic Games is around $12.6 billion, so far. The Tokyo Olympic torch relay is due to start on 26 March in Fukushima in northeastern Japan. Recently, Canada and Australia have announced its pullout from the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Games of the XXXII Olympiad (2020 Summer Olympics):

Host city: Tokyo, Japan

Planned dates of the event: 24 July-9 August 2020

Participating Nations: 204

Athletes: 11,091

Events: 339 in 33 sports.





National Current Affairs March 4th Week 2020

ICMR recommends use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Coronavirus:

The national task force for COVID-19, constituted by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 for a high-risk population. 

ICMR directed that the hydroxy-chloroquine should be given to high-risk population asymptomatic healthcare workers. The medication can be used to treat the suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases. The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) approved the usage of hydroxychloroquine for restricted use in emergency situations.


Hydroxychloroquine is generally used to treat malaria infections. The medication can be used with other medications to treat particular auto-immune diseases when other medications cannot be used for the treatment.

Hydroxy-chloroquine will be effective against Coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. The use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data. Also, the drug should be given only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner. 

The usage of the drug, in the initial days, has been proven efficient by the United States. Italy and South Korea have used the drug to treat COVID-19. 

Indian Railways prepares train coaches for isolation units for COVID-19 patients:

The Indian Railways have prepared a prototype of train coaches that can be used as isolation units for COVID-19 patients. The move is to face challenges that might be caused due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.


♦ Initially, 10 coaches will be converted into isolation units for those affected by COVID- 19. There are 17 zones in Indian Railways. 

♦ The isolation coaches will be used all across the country and will remain in railway premises. 

♦ The prototype has been developed by Northern Railway. 

♦ It is expected that other zones will give their outputs in 3-4 days. Indian Railways is yet to finalize a particular design in this regard.

♦ For the isolation cabin, middle berth from one side and all the three berths have been removed in front of the patient berth.

♦ Air curtains in each compartment has been provided.

♦ Each compartment is provided with four bottle holders and a 220-volt electric point for medical instruments.

♦ The aisle areas of the bathrooms have been modified to prepare the isolation coaches. A hand shower, one bucket, and a mug is placed in each bathroom. 

♦ With these provisions, there are 10 isolation wards in each coach.

Indian Railways is to make more designs of the isolation coaches as a measure to combat COVID-19.

Centre announces free ATM withdrawals for 3 months:

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that debit cardholders could withdraw cash from any other bank`s ATM free of charge for the next three months. 


♦ There will not be any minimum balance requirement fee in the bank accounts. The announcement comes as lockdown, and the curfew is in place in many parts of India amid coronavirus pandemic.

♦ Centre has also waived minimum bank charges for savings bank accounts.

♦ Finance Ministry is also working on an economic package that will be announced soon in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.







Defence Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

DAC approves procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter jets for IAF:

The Defence Ministry`s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved for the procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter jets for Indian Air Force (IAF) with the more advanced configuration on 18 March. The proposal will be forwarded for the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).


♦ The procurement of fighter jets will be a major boost to Make in India.

♦ The aircraft is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by HAL and several local vendors.

♦ HAL`s 83 fighter jets are of the more advanced Mk1A version of the aircraft.

♦ The expected cost of the aircraft is Rs.39,000 crores.

♦ Earlier, GoI has placed an order of 40 Tejas aircraft with HAL in initial configurations.

♦ With this procurement, IAF aims to meet the requirements of its squadron numbers and modernize its inventory with fourth-generation plus and fifth-generation aircraft.

Defence Minister releases Draft Defence Procurement Procedure 2020:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh released the Draft Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP), 2020 at a function in New Delhi. The policy is aligned with the vision of the government to empower the private industry through the Make in India initiative with the ultimate of turning India into a global manufacturing hub. The government has introduced leasing as another category to get defense equipment at affordable rates. The greater participation of the Indian industry and develop a robust defence industrial base, the use of indigenous raw materials, unique alloys, and software has been incentivized under the DPP-2020. 

Make in India

Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the Indian economy, was launched by the Government of India.

Launch year: 2014.




Environment Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

NBRI develops pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies:

National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow has developed a pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies. The field test trials will begin from April to October at the Faridkot Center of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.


♦ Whiteflies are one of the top devastating pests in the world that can damage more than 2000 plant species. It also functions as vectors for some 200-plant viruses. 

♦ Cotton is one of the worst-hit crops by the Whiteflies. In the year 2015, two-third of the cotton crop was destroyed by the pest in Punjab.

♦ Researchers explored 250 plants to develop the pest-resistant variety from lower plant biodiversity to identify novel protein molecules that are toxic to whitefly. 

♦ During the trial, the leaves were extracted from all the plants. They were prepared separately. Then, the whiteflies were led to feed on a total of 250 plants. It was observed that the leaf extract of the edible fern Tectaria macrodonta caused toxicity to the whitefly.

♦ This fern is known as a salad in Nepal. The plant worked against whiteflies but being safe for application on the crop plants and provides protection from the plant.

♦ As the whiteflies fed on sub-lethal doses of insecticidal protein, it resulted in very poor egg-laying, abnormal egg, nymph, and larval development and extraordinary poor emergence of the fly. 

♦ The test also showed that the protein is specifically toxic only to whitefly and does not cause any harmful effects on other beneficial insects like butterfly and honeybee.


Important Days Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

Ordnance Factory Day was observed on 18 March:

The Ordnance Factory Day is observed on the 18 March. The Ordnance Factories are observing their 219th foundation day this year. The day marks the establishment of the first Ordnance Factory on 18 March 1801. The first factory is known as the `Gun and Shell Factory` at Cossipore in Kolkata.

The Ordnance Factories are a conglomerate of 41 ordnance factories. It functions under the aegis of its corporate headquarters Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), in Kolkata. OFB has evolved as one of the largest defence manufacturing conglomerates in the world, with more than 90% of indigenous content and a strong technological and R&D infrastructure that currently contributes to 255 of the revenue.

Ordnance Factory Board (OFB):

In 1712, the Dutch Ostend Company`s Gun Powder Factory at Ichhapur was established. It came with a new effect on 2 April 1979. It is headquartered at Kolkata, West Bengal.

The Indian Ordnance Factories organization is a family of 41 Ordnance Factories. It possesses 200 years of experience in defence production. OFB is engaged in the marketing, research, testing, and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land, and sea systems. OFB functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

International Nowruz Day celebrated on March 21:

International Nowruz Day celebrated globally on 21 March every year. International Nowruz Day to celebrate Nowruz which is an ancestral festivity and marks the first day of spring as well as the renewal of nature. The values of peace and solidarity among generations and within families hence contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples as well as in different communities.


Nowruz marks the first day of spring celebrated on the occasion of the astronomical vernal equinox that generally occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated by more than 300 million people all around the world as the beginning of the new year honored for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and other regions.



International Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

First human trial of a vaccine to protect against COVID-19 began in the US:

The first human trial of a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) began at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle, the US. 
Covid-19 vaccine trial:
♦ The vaccine is called mRNA-1273. The vaccine has shown promise in animal models.
♦ It was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
♦ A 43-year-old woman from Seattle received the first dose. 
♦ The vaccine contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease. It cannot cause COVID-19.
♦ The trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers over approximately six weeks.
♦ The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial.
♦ The study participants will receive two doses of the vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart.
♦ Participants will return to the clinic for follow-up visits between vaccinations and for additional visits across the span of a year after the second shot. 
♦ The participants will be monitored by the Clinicians for common vaccination symptoms, such as soreness at the injection site or fever, as well as any other medical issues. 
♦ A safety monitoring committee will also periodically review trial data and advise NIAID.

Awards Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

Paramananda Majumder was conferred the Moghai Ojah award:

Eminent researcher and writer Dr.Paramananda Majumder was presented the 10th Moghai Ojah Award at a function held at the auditorium of Jorhat Science Centre and Planetarium on 15 March. He was awarded for his significant role in raising issues of public interest and society`s betterment. 

Majumder compiled the first book on the life and works of folk musician Moghai Ojah. The award recognized his invaluable contribution in bringing dhol maestro Moghai Ojah and his magnificent skill of playing the dhol back to the public domain by compiling a book on him.

Moghai Ojah award:

The Moghai Ojah award was instituted in 2011 by the Jorhat district unit of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP). The award is annually presented on 15 March, on the death anniversary of Ojah. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.21,000, a citation, a gamosa, a seleng chadar, and a memento.


Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

Finance Ministry notified about its agreement with Brunei:

Ministry of Finance appraised the Government of India about the agreement between India and the Government of Brunei Darussalam. 
Agreement Highlights:
♦ The Agreement will enable the exchange of information, including banking and ownership information, between the two countries for tax purposes. 
♦ The agreement is based on international standards of tax transparency and exchange of information and enables the sharing of information on request and automatic exchange of information. 
♦ The Agreement also provides for representatives of one country to undertake tax examinations in the other country. It provides assistance in the collection of tax claims.
♦ It will also enhance mutual co-operation between the two countries by providing an effective framework for the exchange of information in tax matters in order to curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The agreement was signed on 28 February 2019 in New Delhi. The agreement was signed for the exchange of information and assistance in collection with respect to taxes. 
The Central Government is authorized under section 90 of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961, to enter into an agreement with a foreign country or specified territory for exchange of information for the prevention of evasion or avoidance of income-tax chargeable under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Brunei Darussalam:
Sultan and Prime Minister: Hassanal Bolkiah
Crown Prince and Senior Minister: Al-Muhtadee Billah
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Currency: Brunei dollar (BND)
APEDA, SFAC signed MoU to improve productivity and quality of the varieties of crops:
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed MoU with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) on 18 March 2020. The MoU was signed by Ms. Neelkamal Darbari, Managing Director SFAC and Mr. Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chairman, APEDA. 
MoU provisions:
♦ As per the MoU, SFAC will share a list of all clusters in various states with APEDA for achieving scale and aggregation with export orientation.
♦ APEDA and SFAC will jointly work together to link up the Farm Producer Organizations (FPOs) with the exporters to achieve the goal and double the farmers` income.
♦ Both the organization will work towards capacity development, outreach programs, awareness programs, and workshops of various stakeholders.
♦ APEDA and SFAC will work together to showcase to the Indian and Global Market, the products, technologies, processes, knowledge, and services by the FPO sector stakeholders through a variety of modes as may be identified by them from time to time.
♦ APEDA will facilitate certification of organic produce /areas by the FPCs assisted or identified by SFAC.
♦ The MoU will start an Agri-Business Promotion Unit in the North East and to mentor and handhold the FPOs in North East.

National Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2020

India pledged USD 10 million toward a Covid-19 emergency fund:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a video-conference meet of leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member nations to tackle the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).


♦ The conference witnessed the participation of leaders of all SAARC countries.

♦ PM Modi proposed for Covid-19 emergency fund.

♦ India pledged $10 million toward a Covid-19 emergency fund and planned to put together a rapid response team of doctors and specialists for SAARC nations. 

♦ India suggested Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal (IDSP) that is currently being used to detect infected patients and contact tracing.

♦ The leaders proposed that health secretaries and experts from all SAARC member nations should coordinate to monitor and curb the spread of Covid-19.

Union govt orders implementation of 37 Central Laws in Jammu and Kashmir:

Union government ordered the implementation of 37 Central Laws in Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued the order after the nod of Union Cabinet. This order will be called the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Order, 2020 and will come into force with immediate effect.

About the adaptation

The adaptation of the central laws in the Concurrent List, with required modifications and amendments, will ensure administrative effectiveness and smooth transition with respect to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, thereby removing any ambiguity in their application in line with the Constitution of India.

Parliamentary panel reported annual post-harvest loss in fisheries:

A Parliamentary panel reported that the Fisheries Sector suffered a high Post-harvest loss of Rs.61,000 crore. The report stated that the Marine Fisheries has a loss of Rs.15,000 crore, and both Marine and Inland Fisheries had a loss of Rs.61,000 crore.


♦ The report highlighted that the possible cause for Post-harvest losses is faulty handling practices, inordinate delay in packing and transportation, lack of proper cold storage facilities, and lack of technological know-how for harvesting fishes. 

♦ The Committee recommended modernizing the existing harbours and establish more cold storage facilities

♦ The panel suggested ensuring the availability of more refrigerated trucks and vans for transportation of fishes. 

♦ It also urged GoI to allocate sufficient funds to the Fisheries Department so that the Post-harvest losses can be minimized and hence safeguarding the interest of various stakeholders in the Fisheries Sector.

♦ During the year 2018-19, the total fish production in India stood at around 13.42 million metric tonnes (MMT). Out of the total, marine fisheries contributed 3.71 MMTs. During 2018-19, the export of marine products stood at nearly 1.4 MMTs and was valued at Rs.46,589 crore.

NHA ties up with Private hospitals to fight against Coronavirus:

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) signed an agreement with the National Health Authority (NHA). The aim is to identify capacities to admit patients from among 19,840 empanelled hospitals under the scheme. Also, on 18 March, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a high-level review meeting with chiefs of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, RML, and Safdarjung Hospital to examine infrastructure preparedness.


♦ MoHFW is consulting with the private sector and non-profit hospitals across the country to ramp up facilities.

♦ The Ministry is in the process of shortlisting tertiary care units that are accredited to assist in the process.

♦ The NHA is planning the rates to include Covid-19 packages in Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).


♦ India has recorded 168 confirmed cases to date, of which 14 have been cured, and three have died.



Environtment Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

Newly discovered treehopper species named after Lady Gaga:

A newly discovered species of treehopper was named after the performer Lady Gaga. The insect species has been named as Kaikaia Gaga. It was named by Brendan Morris, a University of Illinois, a Ph.D. entomology student.

Kaikaia Gaga:

Kaikaia Gaga is a part of the family Membracidae. The species is around 40 million years old. K. gaga was found nearly 30 years ago in a tropical forest near the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The bugs are known for their bright coloring and individuality in appearance. It sings to each other by vibrating plant stems.




Science & Technology Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

ARI developed ARI-516, a hybrid variety of grapes:

Scientists from the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) have developed a hybrid variety of grapes, ARI-516. It is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding, and has excellent juice quality.


♦ ARI-516 was developed by interbreeding of two species from the same genus Catawba variety of Vitis labrusca and Beauty seedless variety of Vitis vinifera.

♦ The hybrid suitable for the preparation of juice, raisin, jam, and red wine, and farmers are enthusiastically adopting the variety. 

♦ It is expected that the hybrid can benefit farmers, the processing industry, and consumers. 

♦ The grape has superior quality fruits and higher yield per unit area. It matures in 110-120 days after pruning.

♦ ARI-516 grape variety has been recently identified for release by the Varietal Identification Committee of ICAR-All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Fruit, for cultivation states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana,

Astronomers found Iron raining exoplanet:

Astronomers from Spain`s Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) has discovered an exoplanet WASP-76b where it "rains iron." The conditions of the exoplanet was discovered by Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO). The high-resolution instrument is installed on the European Southern Observatory`s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

Exoplanet WASP-76b:

♦ Exoplanet WASP-76b is located 360 million light-years away, toward the constellation Pisces. 

♦ It has days when its temperatures exceed 2,400 degrees Celsius (4,352 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature is hot enough to evaporate metals.

♦ At nights, with strong winds, cool down the iron vapor so that it condenses into drops of Iron.


♦ The planet always keeps the same face towards its star as it rotates around it.

Eleventh Bengaluru INDIA Nano conference and exhibition held at Bengaluru:

Eleventh Bengaluru INDIA Nano conference and exhibition showcased technologies and products developed by academia and companies in nanotechnology. 

Organized by:

The three-day event was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of Karnataka, and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), in association with other Govt Institutions and corporate companies. 


♦ Research work to tackle infections related to antimicrobial resistance, eco-friendly batteries, and tools on nanotechnology, which was developed for agriculture were showcased by JNCASR at the exhibition.

♦ A set of Zn-air eco-friendly batteries were also displayed.

♦ Rhino Lure and Rhyncho Lure, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and residual free control strategy tools to monitor and manage Rhinoceros Beetle and Red Plam Weevil pests and protect crops like coconut, date palm, oil palm, and arecanut were exhibited.




Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

Infosys partners with Qualcomm to offer smart cities solutions:

Software major Infosys partnered with the US-based chipmaker Qualcomm to offer smart cities solutions through Qualcomm`s accelerator program. The partnership will provide solutions for smart stadiums, smart venues, and smart event management.


♦ The Accelerator program will connect cities, municipalities, state-run agencies, and enterprises with Qualcomm Technologies` ecosystem. This will help deliver efficiencies, cost savings, and access to solutions for smart cities` problems.

♦ The solutions have been built upon Qualcomm`s proprietary framework for smart spaces. It offers features for building and resource management, physical assets management, and occupants` safety and security.

♦ The framework uses digital technologies to deliver an enhanced user experience for personal comfort, wellness, collaboration, and convenience.

♦ It will also optimize resources for easy maintenance and improved efficiencies.


Defence Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

Exercise SAREX concluded at Goa:

National level Search, and Rescue Exercise and Workshop (Exercise SAREX 2020) concluded in the sea at Vasco, Goa. The exercise was conducted by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). It was carried out on 5-7 March.
♦ The SAREX exercise was inaugurated by Dr. Ajay Kumar, IAS, Secretary (Defence), Ministry of Defence (MoD).
♦ The exercise witnessed the participation of 24 overseas observers from 19 countries.
♦ Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Civil Aviation, and Ministry of Defence took part in the event. 
♦ The theme of the exercise was Harmonization of Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue code "HAMSAR." 
♦ International delegates, including 38 national observers and representatives of 7 commercial airlines, including two helicopter operators, participated in the exercise.
♦ The exercise tested the efficiency of operations and coordination of the stakeholders involved in Search and Rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region. 
SAREX exercise:
SAREX is a biennial exercise that is conducted by the Indian Coast Guard under the aegis of the National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB). The exercise has been conducted since 2003 under the Chairmanship of Director General K Natarajan, ICG. 
GoI approved industrial licenses to 15 companies to manufacture Bullet Proof Jackets:
Government-issued industrial licenses to 15 companies to manufacture Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs) on 11 March. The announcement was made by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh. 
♦ The 15 companies for manufacturing Bullet Proof Jackets have the production capacity in the country of over 10 Lakh per annum to meet the domestic and export requirement.
♦ India exports Bullet Proof Jackets to 18 countries.
♦ Earlier, Indian soldiers did not have bullet-proof jackets. At present, 1.86 lakh soldiers are given BPJs. 

International Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

IAEA urged Iran to provide access to suspected nuclear sites:

United Nations atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urged Iran to cooperate immediately and fully with the nuclear agreement with world powers at the quarterly meeting of IAEA`s 35-member Board of Governor. IAEA asked Iran to provide access to two locations of the nuclear sites in January 2020. Iran failed to engage in substantive discussions to clarify IAEA`s questions. The organization also stated that it did not observe any changes to Iran`s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments since January. 

Iran nuclear deal:

Iran nuclear deal is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In 2015, Iran agreed to a deal on its nuclear program with the P5+1 group of world powers. The P5+1 countries are the US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany. Under the deal, Iran acceded to a 10-year restriction on nuclear production. On 8 May 2018, the United States withdrew from the deal. In January 2020, Iran withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal after the US targeted strike that killed Iran`s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):


IAEA was established on 29 July 1957. It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. IAEA has 171 members states. The organization aims to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also takes initiatives to inhibit the use of nuclear energy for military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

Saudi Arabia slashed oil prices after OPEC plus meeting fails to make a deal:

Oil prices plunged by 20% after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries` (OPEC) failure to make a deal with its allies regarding production cuts.  The meeting OPEC+ that was held between OPEC and its allies concluded with no deal on additional production cuts.


♦ Saudi Arabia slashed oil prices. The country announced massive discounts on the official selling prices for April. It is preparing to increase its production above the 10 million barrel per day mark. 

♦ Saudi currently pumps 9.7 million barrels per day. But it can generally ramp up to 12.5 million barrels per day.

♦ After the move by the Kingdom, Brent oil was down nearly 10% at $45.27.

OPEC+ meeting:

The 178th Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of OPEC was held in Vienna, Austria, on 5 March 2020. It was held under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Mohamed Arkab, Minister of Energy of Algeria and Head of its Delegation. The Conference considered the withdrawal of Ecuador from OPEC, with effect from 1 January 2020.


Scheme Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

Monitoring cell inaugurated under Mission Bhagiratha:

A dedicated monitoring cell was inaugurated under Mission Bhagiratha in Bhongir Circle, Telangana. It was inaugurated by the Superintending Engineer of Mission Bhagiratha. The cell invites grievances and issues in the supply of the tapped drinking water.

About the Monitoring cell:

♦ The aim of the cell is to prevent water scarcity and increase preparedness for summer.

♦ The officials in the cell will record complaints and redress them in a time-bound manner.

♦ Consumers and local representatives in the area can report the issue, along with sufficient details, directly to the staff of the cell.

Mission Bhagiratha:

Mission Bhagiratha was implemented in 1998 by Chief Minister Shri K. Chandrasekhar Rao. The Mission aims to ensure safe and sustainable piped drinking water supply from surface water sources. It also aims to provide each household with a tap connection. Under the Mission, 10% of the water in all Irrigation sources reserved for Drinking Water.

Cabinet approved the Scheme for RoDTEP:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) led by PM Narendra Modi approved the introduction of the Scheme for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP). The Scheme will create a mechanism that will create for reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies at the central, state, and local levels. The Scheme will be in line with "Digital India."


♦ Currently, the reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies are not being refunded under any other mechanism, but which are incurred in the process of manufacture and distribution of exported products. 

♦ The Scheme will boost the domestic industry and Indian exports providing a level playing field for Indian producers in the International market so that domestic taxes/duties are not exported.

♦ An inter-ministerial committee will determine the rates and items for which the reimbursement of taxes and duties would be provided. 

♦ A refund under the Scheme will be in the form of transferable duty credit/electronic scrip that will be issued to the exporters, which will be maintained in an electronic ledger. 

♦ The Scheme will be implemented with end to end digitization.

♦ The Scheme will be a step towards zero-rating of exports, along with refunds such as Drawback and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST). 

♦ It is expected that the scheme would lead to the cost competitiveness of exported products in international markets and better employment opportunities in export-oriented manufacturing industries.  


♦ It aims to increase their productivity, boost exports, and contribute to the overall economy.

UP launched schemes for skill development, employment generation for youths:

Uttar Pradesh State government has launched three schemes, namely Kaushal Satrang, Yuva Hub, and an apprenticeship scheme for skill development and employment generation for youths in the state. It also has announced to depute Arogya Mitras at all primary health centres to inform people about govt health schemes. The schemes were launched by Chief Minister of state Yogi Adityanath.


♦ The state`s industrial sector had received private and public sector investment of nearly Rs.3 trillion in the past 3 years.

♦ All three schemes are dedicated to generating employment and self-employment opportunities for the youth of the state. 

♦ Kaushal Satrang scheme has seven components that will provide opportunities to the youth.

♦ The state has allocated Rs.1,200 crore for the Yuva Hub scheme in the state budget. The scheme aims to provide employment to thousands of skilled youth by assisting in project concept and financial help for one year of operation. 


♦ CM apprenticeship scheme will provide a stipend of Rs.2500 to the youth of the state.

Centre to set up at least one PMBJP Kendra in every block of the country:

Government plans to set up at least one Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya JanAushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendra in every block of India by the end of 2020. The announcement was made by the Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region Dr.Jitendra Singh at the Jan Aushadhi Diwas celebration in Kathua, J&K. 

The government for Jammu & Kashmir launched the PMBJP to promote affordable and quality generic medicines among the people. The speed of development in UT of J&K has increased manifold after the creation of Union Territory (UT) as all the progressive Central laws have been directly implemented without any hindrance.


Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) campaign was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) in 2008. It was launched under the name Jan Aushadi Campaign. Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementation agency of the scheme. PMBJP aims to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses. PMBJP stores were set up by GoI to provide generic drugs at lesser prices but with equal quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs. It focuses on bringing down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India by providing Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices.

Poshan Abhiyaan celebrated its second anniversary:

The second anniversary of the Centre`s Poshan Abhiyaan Poshan Pakhwada was celebrated on 8 March. The focus of the two-week-long Poshan Pakhwada 2020 is `Men for Nutrition.` The aim is to increase male engagement in Poshan Abhiyaan. It aims to improve Nutritional Indicators.

NITI Aayog`s data states that Andhra Pradesh ranked first in the overall implementation of Poshan Abhiyan. As part of the program, the State has trained all Angan Wadi Workers on modules created based on lifecycle approach with the support of incremental learning Approach (ILA).

Tamil Nadu State has topped the list of the states in terms of the number of participants in the program. The Integrated Child Development Scheme has been rejuvenated with the Centre`s Poshan Abhiyaan mission. The program is revitalizing India by reaching out to the children and mothers across the nation.

POSHAN Abhiyaan:

Prime Minister`s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is the Government of India`s flagship program. It improves nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. The scheme reduces malnutrition in the country in a phased manner, through a life cycle approach, by adopting a synergized and result oriented approach.  

The program was launched by Prime Minister Modi on the occasion of International Women`s Day on 8 March 2018. The scheme will address the problem of malnutrition and addresses it in a mission-mode. The goals of Poshan Abhiyan are to achieve improvement in the Nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers in a time-bound manner.





Awards Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred 2019 Nari Shakti Puraskar:

President Ram Nath Kovind presented Nari Shakti Puraskar or Woman Power Award for the year 2019 on International Women`s Day, which is March 8, at a special ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. 15 eminent women were awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2019. The award recognized the significant efforts of the women who rendered distinguished services towards the emancipation of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.


The winners of the Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2019 are from various areas, including agriculture, sports, handicrafts, afforestation and wildlife conservation, Armed Forces, and education. The awardees are Padala Bhudevi, Bina Devi, Arifa Jan, Chami Murmu, Nilza Wangmo, Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Sardarni Mann Kaur, Kalavati Devi, Tashi, and Nungshi Malik, Kaushiki Chakroborty, Bhageerathi Amma, Karthyayini Amma, Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawna Kanth, Mohana Singh. 

Nari Shakti Puraskar:

Nari Shakti Puraskar was initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The award acknowledges the exceptional contribution made by individuals and institutions. The award was first conferred in 1999. The Nari Shakti Puraskar award carries a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh and a citation.

It celebrates women as game changers and catalyst of positive change in the society. These outstanding women have contributed towards safeguarding women`s rights along with pushing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It recognizes women as equal partners in the advancement of society.


National Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

Around 40 percent environment-related crimes in Rajasthan Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

Around 40.59 percent of the crimes related to the environment in the country committed in Rajasthan during 2014-16. The crimes mostly related to violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, such as uses of forest land for non-forest purposes without approval of the government and Wildlife Protect Act capturing, poisoning, snaring, or trapping of wild animals. The highest number of crimes related to the environment were committed in Rajasthan from 2014-2016. National Crime Records Bureau (October 2017), the report mentions that 15,723 cases of crimes related to the environment were registered in the country during 2014-16, and the number of cases in the state during this period was 6,382, which is 40.59 percent.

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR) and Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) could not be regulated in the absence of a local advisory committee (LAC), which caused disturbance to wild animals.Around five of the ten zones of core areas were not closed in monsoon seasons, contrary to the directions of the National Tiger Conservatory Authority (NTCA). The entire area of zone 1-10 of RTR is designated as the core area, the department closed only zone one-five of the RTR during monsoon season (July-September) during 2015-2018, while zone six-10 remained open.Scrutiny of records revealed that between July and September of these years, 24,647 tourists visited the park, and it would have caused disturbance to the eight tigers who had territories in these zones. 

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR)

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is located in the Sawai Madhopur district, while Sariska is in the Alwar district.The CAG report also states that the site selected for construction of the Abheda Biological park in Kota was not conducive due to adjoining garbage dumping yard, industrial areas, firing range of the Army, the existence of slums nearby. On the encroachment of forest land, the audit found that there were 18,577 cases of encroachment on forest land, involving an area of 255.05 sq km in the state as of 1st April 2013. Around 15,883 cases of illegal mining in forest areas were registered during 2013-18, of which, 8,004 cases were disposed of by levying penalty, and 7,879 cases were pending as of March 2018. It observed that 3,491 cases were pending for one-three years, and 1,534 cases were pending for more than three years. As many as 4,388 cases were pending for consideration before the court.

BhoomiRashi portal significantly expedites error-free land acquisition for National Highways: 
GoI reported that the BhoomiRashi portal of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (M/oRTH) has significantly expedited error-free and transparent land acquisition for National Highways (NH). 
BhoomiRashi portal:
♦ BhoomiRashi portal, a major e-Governance initiative, was launched on 1 April 2018. 
♦ The portal is used by the Central/State government directly to acquire land under their relevant legal provisions.
♦ Under the portal, nearly 37078 hectares of land have been notified by the National Highways Authority of India as compared to 33005 hectares notified between 2014-15 to 2017-18. Around 4,16,000 number of persons have visited the portal so far. 
♦ It was integrated with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) for depositing the compensation in the account of affected/ interested persons on a real-time basis.
Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to inaugurate 5 projects completed under JNPT:

The Minister of State (I/C) for Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya is to inaugurate five projects completed under Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at JNPT, Mumbai on 14 March. The projects include Flyover at Y junction near PUB at JNPT, Scanning X-Ray, Augmentation of 220/33KV Master Unit Sub Station, Centralised Parking Plaza, and Shiva Samarth Smarak Museum.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT):

Location: Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

Operated by: Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust

Owned by: Government of India

JNPT is also known as Nhava Sheva. It was established on 26 May 1989. It is India`s largest container port. The port access Arabian Sea via Thane Creek. 






Important Days Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

International Women Day 2020 observed on March 8th

International Women`s Day is observed every year on March 8 to celebrate the women’s movement and struggle for equality.
I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women`s Rights
To bring together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, and country in a bid to drive actions that will lead to a gender-equal world we all deserve.
Women still refused to primary education and healthcare. They receive less pay for equal work. Men and boys, on the other hand, are victims of oppressive masculinity and are made to feel entitled to decide for the women in their life.
The women’s day will be celebrated in the wake of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is termed by the UN Women as the most visionary agenda for women’s rights and empowerment everywhere. The body also came out with a report to review the effect of the Beijing Declaration. The main aim is to bring stronger movement and a more inclusive march towards equality.

Sports Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2020

First ever Khelo India Winter Games begin at Gulmarg in Kashmir:

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the first-ever five-day Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg. Jammu and Kashmir`s Gulmarg hosting Khelo India Winter Games 2020 from March 7th to 11th.The sports shall be organized every year at Gulmarg. The training academy should be established on the standards of the International level in which international coaches shall impart training to sportspersons. The interactive session with youth at National Integration Camp hosted by Government Physical Education College Gadoora, Ganderbal. The camp was hosted to motivate and guide the youth for their active participation in the promotion of unity, communal harmony, national integration, FIT India.
Khelo India Youth Games:
Khelo India Youth Games formerly Khelo India School Games held annually in January
First event: 2018
Last event: 2020.
Tiger Woods to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of fame:
Tiger Woods is to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of fame in its class of 2021. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in December 2020, once the age of entry was lowered from 50 to 45. Woods has won 15 majors and a joint record 82 times on the PGA Tour. The 44-year-old won the Masters at Augusta in April 2019 for his 15th major. 
Tiger Woods:
Eldrick Tont Woods, nicknamed as Tiger, is a USA`s professional golf player. He ranks second in both major championships and the Professional Golfers` Association of America (PGA). He holds numerous records in golf and is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

ICAR, PBRI signs MoU to undertake research work and education:

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Hardiwar-based Patanjali Bio Research Institute (PBRI) on 1 March. The MoU aims to undertake research work, training, and education. The MoU was signed by ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra and PBRI CEO Acharya Balkrishna in the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.


The MoU aims to foster close interaction in research, technology demonstration, capacity building, seed production, entrepreneurship, and skill development.

MoU provisions:

♦ The MoU will provide a new opportunity to include a new arena to work for both organizations.

♦ It is expected to promote organic farming practices across the country.

♦ Specific plans will be developed under the agreement to work on collaborative research programmes in areas of national interest related to sustainable agriculture development that is suitable for different agro-ecologies in India.

♦ The agreement will enable the postgraduate (PG) students of deemed universities and research institutes of ICAR to undertake internships in various areas of specialization with PBRI.

♦ As per the agreement, ICAR will assist PBRI in capacity building, technology demonstration, seed production for scaling up popular varieties developed by ICAR so that it can be transferred among the farming community of the country.

IAF, Savitribai Phule Pune University signs MoU to establish Chair of Excellence: 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) entered into an academic collaboration and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Savitribai Phule Pune University. The MoU aimed to establish a `Chair of Excellence` at the Department of Defence & Strategic Studies. 

Chair of Excellence:

♦ The IAF has named it as "Marshal of the Air Force (MIAF) Arjan Singh Chair of Excellence" with an aim to pay tribute to the legend and commemorate the centenary birth year of the MIAF Arjan Singh. 

♦ The Chair will empower the IAF officers to pursue Doctoral Research and higher studies in Defence & Strategic Studies and allied fields.

♦ The chair will facilitate research and higher studies in the area of National Defence and allied fields of Air Force officers. 

♦ It will be inculcating a strategic outlook and building a pool of strategic thinkers.


Delegations including Shri Nitin Karmalkar, Hon`ble Vice-Chancellor of SPPU, Air Marshal Amit Dev AVSM, VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel, IAF, and Air Vice-Marshal LN Sharma AVSM, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Education) and other senior IAF and University officials participated in the meeting.



Sports Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

SPMCIL contributed Rs.1 crore for National Sports Development Fund:

Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) funded a sum of Rs.1 crore towards the National Sports Development Fund under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). The fund will be given for the top Indian athletes who are selected for the Tokyo Olympics and beyond. The company funded under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the Company.

Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL):

Founded on: 10 February 2006

Headquarters: Janpath, New Delhi

Chairman & MD: Tripti Patra Ghosh

Owned by: Government of India

SPMCIL is a multi-Ratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE). It functions under the Ministry of Finance. 




International Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

ADB provides USD 4 million to the Asia-Pacific countries to fight coronavirus outbreak:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to provide a total of $4 million (Rs.29 crore) to the Asia-Pacific countries. The bank aims to help developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

ADB has also approved a further $2 million to help developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. The bank also asked to improve resilience to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.


♦ The work is to be conducted in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

♦ The funds will be given to all ADB developing member countries to update and implement the pandemic response plans.

♦ The financial assistance would be used for several purposes including assessing the health system, buying emergency supplies and equipment, and economic impacts to improve future resilience, and coordinating better regionally to prevent, detect, and respond to animal and human disease outbreaks.


Defence Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

India bagged USD 40 million defence deal with Armenia:

India won a $40 million defence deal to supply 4 indigenously-built weapons locating radars to Armenia in Europe. India won the deal by overtaking Russia and Poland. 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. 


Under the deal, India will supply 4 SWATHI weapon locating radars. The weapon is to be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and delivered to Armenia in Europe.

Armenians had conducted trials of systems offered by Russia and Poland but they approved the Indian system, which was developed by DRDO. India began the supply of the equipment to Armenia.

SWATHI weapon:

♦ The SWATHI weapon will help in locating radars. 

♦ It provides fast, automatic and accurate location of enemy weapons like shells, mortars, and rockets in its 50-km range. 

♦ The weapon includes 81mm (or higher calibre mortars), 105mm (or higher calibre shells) and 120mm (or higher calibre free flying rockets).

♦ The weapon is being developed by DRDO`s Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE)

♦ SWATHI can simultaneously handle multiples projectiles fired from different weapons at different locations. 

♦ The weapon can adjust the fire of its own artillery weapon also.


Economy Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

World economy faces worst performance since the past decade:

Bank of America Corporation (BofA) economists stated that the world economy is heading for its worst performance since the 2009 financial crisis. The decline is due to the increasing spread of coronavirus across the world. The economists stated that they are expecting 2.8% global growth in 2020, which is the weakest since 2009. The forecast did not include a global pandemic that would basically shut down economic activity in many major cities.

Bank of America:

Founded on: 1998

Founded by: Amadeo Giannini

Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina, US

Chairman and CEO: Brian Moynihan.


Science & Technology Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

Researchers detected biggest explosion since Big Bang:

Researchers have detected evidence of a colossal explosion in space which is five times bigger than anything observed before. The huge release of energy is expected to have occurred from a supermassive black hole which is located around some 390 million light-years from Earth. Also, the scientists stated that the explosion might have left a giant dent in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster.

Ophiuchus galaxy cluster:

Ophiuchus galaxy cluster is a large galaxy that contains a supermassive black hole. The source of the gigantic eruption to jets has carved out a large cavity in the hot gas. The amount of energy required to create the cavity in Ophiuchus far exceeded the previous record holder, a cluster known by the designation MS 0735+74. The cluster contains thousands of individual galaxies intermingled with hot gas and dark matter. 

US and European X-ray telescopes found a curved edge to it. It is suspected that it might be the wall of a cavity that had been sculpted in its plasma by emissions from a gargantuan black hole in one of the core galaxies. The theory was confirmed by a new low-frequency telescope data from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Australia and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India.


Awards Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

Assam CM awarded 2020 Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee award:

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was conferred the Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee award 2020 for Politics on 28 February. The award was conferred by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Speaker of People`s Majlis of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed at the 6th India Ideas Conclave in Gujarat. He was awarded for his work in integrating the nation and to take Mukherjee`s vision and philosophy forward.

Syama Prasad Mukherjee:

Syama Prasad Mukherjee was born on 6 July 1901. He served as the youngest ever Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University. He is the first Minister of Industry and Supply in independent India. In 1946, he demanded the partition of Bengal to prevent the inclusion of its Hindu-majority areas in a Muslim-dominated East Pakistan. He co-founded Janata Party (renamed as BJP) in the year 1977-1979. He was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir State police for entering the state without a permit. He passed away in jail on 23 June 1953.

Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee award:

Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee award was instituted by India Foundation. The award carries a citation, a specially designed trophy and a cheque worth Rs.1 lakh.


National Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

Punjab to reduce government employees retirement age to 58 years:

Punjab State government announced major changes in the 2020-21 budget. The budget announcement was made by Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal. He presented a Rs.1,54,805 crore budget in the state Assembly.
New Schemes:
The state government announced to waive Change of Land Use (CLU) charges for two years for the new industries coming up outside the municipal limits and slash the "mandi" fee on vegetables from 4%-1%.
It has reduced the government employees` retirement age from 60 to 58.
It also introduced a scheme for free education for all students up to Class 12.
The state announced a debt waiver for landless farmers.
The budget allocated Rs.100 crore for giving 10 lakh free smartphones to the youth.

Important Days Current Affairs March 1st Week 2020

World Defence Day is celebrated on 1 March:

World Defence Day is celebrated on 1 March 2020. The day is observed to raise awareness of public protection from natural and technogenic disasters and rescue service work.


World Civil Defense Day was instituted by the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO) General Assembly in 1990. It commemorates the day when the ICDO Constitution came into force as an intergovernmental organization in 1972. 


ICDO was established by French Surgeon-General George Saint-Paul in 1931 in Paris. It was recognized by the French Parliament in June 1935 and in 1972 it achieved the status of an intergovernmental organization. The Constitution of ICDO has two main purposes that are aimed to bring attention of the world public to the vital importance of Civil Protection, raise awareness of the preparedness for self-protection and preventive measures to be taken in the event of accidents or disasters and pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices of the national services responsible for the fight against disasters.

Zero Discrimination Day is observed on 1 March:

Zero Discrimination Day is observed on 1 March. The day promotes diversity and recognizes that everyone counts. The symbol for Zero Discrimination Day is the butterfly. It is used by people to share their stories and photos as a way to end discrimination and work towards positive transformation.


The United Nations celebrated Zero Discrimination Day on 1 March 2014, after UNAIDS. UNAIDS is a program on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.