1. United States challenges Indian export subsidies schemes at WTO
- The United States has challenged Indian export subsidies schemes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
- The US Trade Representative (USTR) alleged that through these programmes, India is given exemption from certain duties, taxes, and fees which benefits numerous Indian exporters.
- These export subsidies provide an unfair competitive advantage to recipients.
- It has requested dispute settlement consultations with India at the WTO, challenging Indian export subsidy programs.
2. World Happiness Report 2018: India Ranks 133rd, Finland Tops
- The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The World Happiness Report 2018, ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.
- Burundi in East Africa is the unhappiest place in the world. The study reveals the US has slipped to 18th place, five places down on 2016. India ranks 133rd in the report after Pakistan (75th), China (86th) and Nepal (101st).
Top 3 countries are-
3. Slovenian PM Cerar resigns
- Prime minister of Slovenian ‘Miro Cerar’ (54-year) has resigned after the supreme court annulled the result of a September referendum that approved a 1-billion-euro railway project.
- He will keep the post until a new government formed.
- Cerar took office in 2014 when his SMC party scored a stunning electoral victory just one month after being created.
4. President of India inaugurates World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius
- India’s President Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) in Mauritius capital, Port Louis.
- The main objective of the WHS is to promote Hindi as an international language and further its cause for recognition at the United Nations as an Official Language.
- In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of this building.
- The Secretariat is fully financed by India and a grant of 33 crore rupees.
- The organization was set up by the governments of India and Mauritius to promote Hindi across the world.
- Mauritius capital- Port Louis, President- Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Currency- Mauritian rupee.
5. Delhi Metro Pink line inaugurated
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal & Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri ceremonially flagged off Delhi Metro’s Pink Line (Maj-lis Park-Durga-bai Deshmukh South Campus section) from the Metro Bhawan in New Delhi.
- This section has 12 stations including Majlis Park, Azadpur(with Yellow Line), Shalimar Bagh, Netaji Subhash Place(with Red Line), Shakurpur, Punjabi Bagh West, ESI Hospital, Rajouri Garden(Blue Line), Mayapuri, Naraina Vihar, Delhi Cantt and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus.
- The new service will operate on a 21.56 km stretch, taking the total area that Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) covers to 250 km.
6. Health Ministry and WHO Signed Agreement For Enhanced Cooperation For Healthcare
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO met J.P. Nadda, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister in New Delhi. They discussed perspectives on national, regional and global public health program.
- To strengthen collaborative work between India and WHO in achieving improved health outcomes, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and World Health Organization (WHO) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA).
- WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
7. Haryana govt announces to set up a committee to find the solution to polluted water
- The Haryana Govt has announced to set up a committee led by state agriculture and farmers welfare minister Om Parkash Dhankhar to discuss the issue with the Delhi govt and the center.
- The MLAs can keep their points in the meeting of the Committee and Delhi government can be approached for constructing separate channels for polluted water instead of allowing the polluted water to flow in the river.
8. HRD ministry to set up innovation cell
- According to the Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar, an innovation cell will be created to further strengthen the innovation efforts.
- It will be headed by a Scientist and comprise of senior ministry official & young professionals who bring to the table new idea in promoting innovation.
- The Government’s renewed emphasis on innovation as a measure to improve the economic growth and the standard of living.
- Six new research parks have been sanctioned in various premier institutions.
- There are more than 120 Technology Business Incubators covering all the institutions in the country.
- The decision comes close on the heels of India moving 6 ranks up in the Global Innovation Index Ranking from 66 (in 2016) to 60 (in 2017), out of 127 countries.
9. CCEA approves the continuation of ongoing urea subsidy scheme
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Department of Fertilizers to continue Urea Subsidy Scheme up to 2019-20.
- A total estimated cost of Rs. 1,64,935 crores and for disbursement of fertilizer subsidy.
- This decision implies that there will be no increase in price of urea, till 2020.
- These steps have ensured continued easy availability of Urea to the farmers at an affordable price.
- Earlier, the union Government had notified New Urea Policy, 2015, with the objectives of maximizing indigenous urea production.
- Urea Subsidy is a part of Central Sector Scheme of Department of Fertilizers with effect from 1st April, 2017 and is wholly financed by the Government of India through Budgetary Support.
- Ananthkumar is the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
10. World Consumer Rights Day being observed : 15th March
- The World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally on 15th March to promote basic rights of all consumers.
- The theme for this year is ‘Making Digital Marketplaces Fairer‘.
- The first World Consumer Rights Day was observed in 1983 and become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action.
- In India. we also observe the National Consumer Day on 24th of December every year.
- Consumer Affairs Minister of India is Ram Vilas Paswan.
- The first World Consumer Rights Day was observed in 1983.
- In India, the National Consumer Day is observed on 24th December.
Banking & Finance
11. World Bank projects India’s GDP growth at 7.3% for the next financial year 2018-19
- The world bank has projected India’s GDP growth at 7.3% for the next financial year and 7.5% in 2019-20.
- The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update: India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7% in the current fiscal ending 31st
- The World Bank forecasts global economic growth to edge up to 3.1% in 2018. Growth in advanced economies is expected to moderate slightly to 2.2% in 2018.
- Growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to strengthen to 4.5% in 2018.
- The report, however, observed that a growth of over 8% will require continued reform and a widening of their scope, aimed at resolving issues related to credit and investment and enhancing the competitiveness of exports.
12. IBBI Signs MoU with Reserve Bank of India
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) signed an MoU with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Under the MoU, the RBI and the IBBI will work in partnership for the effective implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and its allied rules and regulations.
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India Chairman- Dr. M S Sahoo.
- It was set up on 1st October 2016 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code).
Honors & Awards
13. ICMR wins the 2017 Kochon Prize for TB research
- The 2017 Kochon Prize has been awarded to the Indian Council of Medical Research (research body of the Union Health Ministry) in New Delhi for building a tradition of excellence in TB research and development.
- The ICMR emerged the winner from amongst 18 nominations. The award comprises prize money worth USD 65,000.
- The Kochon Prize is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to combating tuberculosis.