Daily GK : 20th March 2018


International Affairs

1. Atul M. Gotsurve Appointed as the Next Ambassador of India to Republic of Korea

  • Atul M. Gotsurve has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
  • He is currently Director of the Ministry of External Affairs. He is the IFS officer of 2004 batch.


  • Republic of Korea Capital: Pyongyang, Supreme leader: Kim Jong-un, Currency: North Korean won.

National Affairs

2. India and European Union (EU) sign an agreement on sharing earth observation data

  • India and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement to share earth observation data from each other’s satellites.
  • The agreement was signed by Philippe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, on behalf of the European Commission, and by PG Diwakar (Scientific Secretary) in Bengaluru.
  • The Copernicus programme provides a wide range of applications like climate change, land, ocean and atmosphere monitoring as well as support in forecasting, management and mitigation of natural disasters.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will share data from its earth observation satellites.
  • The European Commission will provide India full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections from data hub to data hub.


  • The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

3. The 3rd edition of National Conclave on Mines and Minerals held in New Delhi

  • The third edition of National Conclave on Mines and Minerals held in New Delhi.
  • The conclave will provide an effective platform to showcase the recent policy initiatives of the government.
  • Representatives of various state governments, mining industry, industry associations, financial and academic institutions will participate in the event.
  • The first edition of the conclave was held at Raipur (in July 2016), while the second took place in New Delhi (February 2017).

4. Government Approves Plastic Park to be Set Up in Jharkhand

  • Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Ananthkumar announced that the Government of India has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in Deoghar District, Jharkhand.
  • The project would be set up at a cost of Rs. 120 crores in an area of 150 acres. Mr. Ananthkumar also announced the setting up of Rs. 3.5 crore Plastic Recycling unit at Deoghar to tackle the menace of plastic waste being generated due to the place being a tourist attraction.


  • Jharkhand CM- Raghubar Das, Governor- Droupadi Murmu.

5. First National workshop on ‘Poshan Abhiyaan’ held in New Delhi

  • The first National workshop on ‘Poshan Abhiyaan’ held in New Delhi to implement the campaign in a fast track mode across the country.
  • The workshop will provide a complete orientation on the campaign to provide handholding in using the software involved and to augment the convergence with different Ministries in implementing the campaign for improved Nutritional outcomes.
  • Earlier this month, ‘Poshan Abhiyaan” was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The objective of the ‘Abhiyaan’ to ensure holistic development & adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers, and children.
  • The programme also targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth rate.


  • POSHAN Abhiyan was launched in March 2018 by the PM Modi in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
  • It has been set up with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

Important Dates

6. International Day of Happiness being observed : 20th March 

  • The ‘International Day of Happiness‘ is celebrated throughout the world on the 20th of March.
  • The day was founded by United Nations adviser ‘Jayme Illien’ on June 28, 2012.
  • The World Happiness Report 2018, ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.
  • The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and between countries.


  • According to the United Nations 2018 report, India has been ranked 133rd in the global list of the most prosperous countries.
  • India has slipped below the previous year’s 122nd position to 133rd position.
  • These five countries are the happiest country in the world.
  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzerland

7. World Sparrow Day being observed : 20th March

  • World Sparrow Day is observed on 20 March every year globally to create awareness about the protection of sparrows.
  • The theme for this year’s WSD is ‘I Love Sparrows’.
  • The first World Sparrow Day was observed in 2010 across the globe. The theme has been inspired by the hope that more and more of us will celebrate the relationship between people and Sparrows.

Banking & Finance

8. SBI signed MoU with IMGC to offer mortgage guarantee backed home loan

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) and India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) have signed a pact to offer mortgage guarantee scheme for prospective non-salaried and self-employed home loan customers.
  • Under this, product applicant can avail higher finance based on risk grade of the borrower, by opting for IMGC default guarantee cover.
  • IMGC is a joint venture between National Housing Bank, Genworth Inc International Finance Corporation and Asian Development Bank.


  •  IMGC is providing mortgage default guarantee to the lending Institutions in India.

9. A representative office had opened by Axis Bank  in Sharjah

  • Axis Bank had opened a representative office in Sharjah to promote the bank’s retail products and services to non-resident Indians (NRIs).
  • This representative office is the third such Axis Bank office in the UAE after Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • Sharjah has an estimated 650,000 NRIs residing in the emirate.
  • Within India, the bank has 3,589 domestic branches (including extension counters), and 13,977 ATMs across the country.
  • The network of Axis Bank spreads across 1,946 cities and towns.


10. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik gets additional charge as Governor of Odisha

  • According to the President’s Secretariat, Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik has been given additional charge as the Governor of Odisha.
  • Dr. SC Jamir, who is the present Odisha governor, is completing his tenure today.
  • Mr. Malik will discharge the additional functions until regular arrangements are made.


11. Renowned Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh passes away

  • Renowned Hindi poet & Jnanpith awardee Kedarnath Singh (84-year) passed away in Delhi after a prolonged illness.
  • He was a professor and head of the Department of Hindi department at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Indian Language center.
  • Among his essays and stories are Kalpana aur Chhayavad, Kabristan Mein Panchayat, Hindi Kavita Mein Bimb Vidhan and Mere Samay ke Shabd.
  • He won the Sahitya Akademi Award (in 1989) for his poetry collection Akaal Mein Saras and Janapith Award (in 2013).
  • His works include collections of poems such as Zameen Pak Rahi Hai, Baagh, Tolstoy aur Cycle, Yahan se Dekho and Abhi Bilkul Abhi.


  • He was born on 7th July 1934 in Chakia village in Ballia District, Uttar Pradesh.
  • He completed his graduation from Uday Pratap college Varanasi and passed M.A & Ph.D. from Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya.


12. Juan Martin del Potro beats Roger Federer to lift Indian Wells Masters title

  • The eighth-seeded Argentine ‘Juan Martin del Potro’ bagged the Indian Wells Masters title in California.
  • Potro beat the veteran Swiss Roger Federer, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in a thrilling Final.
  • Del Potro also became the first player to beat Federer this year.


  • The Indian Wells Masters, also known as BNP Paribas Open and the WTA Indian Wells Open, is an annual tennis tournament held in March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.

*** Thank You ***


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