1. President Ram Nath Kovind reaches Madagascar
- President Ram Nath Kovind reached Madagascar (first-ever visit by an Indian President) on the final leg of his two-nation visit.
- Mr. Kovind will hold talks with President Hery Rajaonarimampianina and Prime Minister Oliver Mahafaly Solonandrasana.
- He will be conferred with the Malagasy Honour of Grand Cross, address a Business Forum & teachers and students of Antananarivo.
2. Bidya Devi Bhandari re-elected President of Nepal
- Nepal’s incumbent first woman president ‘Bidya Devi Bhandari’ (56-year) has been re-elected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority.
- Bhandari secured 39,275 votes and defeated her Nepali Congress (NC) rival Kumari Laxmi Rai (11,730 votes).
- She became Nepal’s first woman president in 2015.
- Bhandari was elected twice in parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999.
- The President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is the head of state of Nepal and commander in chief of the Nepalese Armed Forces.
- The office was created in May 2008 after the country was declared as a republic.
- Prime Minister of Nepal- Khadga Prasad Oli. The currency of Nepal- Nepalese rupee
- Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal.
3. Gina Haspel Appointed CIA’s First Female Director
- Gina Haspel, the newly nominated first-ever female director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is a career intelligence officer with more than 30 years’ experience.
- Ms. Haspel, 61, has extensive overseas experience and has served as chief of the station on several postings. Her leadership positions in Washington include deputy director of the National Clandestine Service – the CIA agency that co-ordinates clandestine operations – and chief of staff for the director of the National Clandestine Service.
- The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government.
- CIA founded on 18th September 1947.
4. Executive Committee under POSHAN Abhiyaan hold its 1st meeting
- The Executive Committee headed by Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development took various decisions on the roadmap for the mission, under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
- On 14th of April (Ambedkar Jayanti), Gram Panchayats across the country will hold meetings to discuss the nutritional aspects and their implementation along with health and sanitation issues.
- All the Gram Panchayats will be advised to weigh the children and display the weights in the Anganwadi centers.
- National Council on India’s nutritional challenges under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, has also been set up under the POSHAN Abhiyaan.
- The Council will submit the report to the Prime Minister every 6 months.
5. Telangana, Kay Ventures Tie Up For Apparel Hub
- The Telangana government is setting up an Rs. 100-crore Apparel Super Hub in Sircilla. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Kay Ventures to roll out the project.
- To be set up on 20 acres, the hub will be completed in three phases. The first phase will be taken up with an investment of Rs. 30 crores in a year. While the State government will infuse 90 percent of the phase-1 funds, Kay Ventures and its associates will take care of the balance amount.
6. The Union Home Minister inaugurates 2-day Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of IACP
- The Union Home Minister ‘Rajnath Singh’ has inaugurated the two-day Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in New Delhi.
- The theme of the conference is “Challenges to Policing in 2020 – How is Cyber Space shaping our approach to Cybercrime and Terrorism, how do we perform within it and take advantage of it”.
- The Conference will provide a platform for top-level Police executives, both national and international, to discuss and understand how Cyber Space is shaping the approach towards Cyber-crime and Terrorism.
- More than 35 Heads of Police Forces of States and Union Territories and of Central Police Organisations are participating in the conference.
- The IACP is the world’s largest organization of Police and law enforcement executives that is highly regarded for its role in identifying and responding to changing needs of the law enforcement community.
Banking & Finance
7. RBI discontinues Letters of Undertaking, Letters of Comfort for trade credit
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) discontinued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Letters of Comfort (LoCs) for Trade Credits.
- It has been decided to discontinue the practice of issuance of LoUs/ LoCs for Trade Credits for imports into India by AD Category -I banks with immediate effect.
- The Letters of Credit will be continued to be issued subject to compliance with the provisions contained in Department of Banking Regulation Master Circular on ‘Guarantees and Co-acceptances’ dated July 1, 2015.
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported the fraudulent issuance of LoUs/ Foreign Letters of Credit for payment of import bills and fraudulent transactions in accounts, amounting to Rs 12,967.86 crore, to the RBI through its fraud monitoring reporting system.
8. Amazon Launches First Debit Card In Mexico E-Commerce Push
- Amazon.com Inc launched its first-ever debit card in Mexico, part of a push to encourage shoppers without bank accounts to buy online.
- Part of the challenge is attracting consumers who are wary of online fraud and do not have access to credit and debit cards. Less than a third of adults in Mexico have credit cards, according to a 2017 government report.
9. Wholesale inflation eases to 7-month low of 2.48 % in February
- Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a seven-month low of 2.48% in February on cheaper food articles. Inflation in vegetables softened with annual inflation at 15.26% as against 40.77% in January.
- According to a government data, inflation in food articles slowed to 0.88% in February from 3% in the preceding month. As per the data, inflation in ‘fuel and power’ segment too eased to 3.81% compared to 4.08%.
- As per the Central Statistics Office, retail inflation measured in term of Consumer Price Index had dropped to a four-month low of 4.44% in February on cheaper food articles and lower cost for fuel.
10. Prof Stephen Hawking passes away
- World-renowned physicist Stephen William Hawking (76-year) passed away at his home in Cambridge.
- He was known for his work with black holes, relativity and wrote several popular science books including ‘A Brief History of Time’ in 1988 (sold more than 10 million copies).
- He was still able to communicate using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device.
- His life story was the subject of the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne.
11. Noted film and television actor Narendra Jha passes away
- Noted Hindi film and television actor Narendra Jha (55-year) passed away following a heart attack.
- The actor best is known for his performances in films such as “Raees”, “Kaabil” and “Haider”.
- He worked with iconic filmmakers like Shyam Benegal in the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero.
12. Chris Rogers appointed Australia’s new high-performance coach
- Former Test opening batsman Chris Rogers has been appointed as Cricket Australia’s new high-performance
- Now, Rogers will concentrate on the batting alongside fellow high-performance coach Ryan Harris, who will develop the bowlers.
- Rogers had a successful first-class career in Australia and England spanning almost two decades and more than 300 matches despite being colour blind.