1. Win Myint Elected as Myanmar’s New President
- Myanmar’s Parliament has elected Win Myint as the country’s new President. This comes after Myanmar’s first democratically elected President Htin Kyaw resigned from the position due to health issues.
- Myint is considered a close aide of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and has been a speaker in the lower house since 2012.
- Myanmar State Counsellor- Aung San Suu Kyi, Capital- Naypyidaw.
2. Ethiopia’s ruling coalition approves Abiye Ahmed as new PM
- Ethiopia has elected Abiye Ahmed (41-year) as the new Prime Minister.
- Earlier, he served as the head of OPDO Secretariat and Oromia Housing and Urban Development Office with the title of Deputy President of Oromia Region.
- The ruling coalition 180-member council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front elected Abiye to succeed Hailemariam as the chairperson.
- Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa.
- Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent.
3. India, China Agree to draw Roadmap for Addressing Trade deficit
- The eleventh session of the China-India joint-group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science & Technology was held in New Delhi. The session was co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu and the Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Zhong Shan.
- The two Ministers agreed to continue to take forward the initiatives identified in the Five Year Development Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and India signed in September 2014.
- China Capital- Beijing, Currency- Renminbi, President- Xi Jinping.
4. PV Sindhu, Anushka Sharma Debut in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 List
- Badminton Ace P V Sindhu and Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma had featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list. The list includes innovators and disruptors who are reshaping their industries and changing Asia for the better.
- Anushka, one of Indian film industry’s highest paid actresses, is all of 29. Pakistani singer Momina Mustehsan too found a mention.
- Forbes- American Business Magazine, Founded in- 1917.
- Headquarters- New York City, USA.
5. Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launches ‘Tribes India E-Commerce Portal’ & ‘M-Commerce app’
- The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs ‘Jual Oram’ has launched ‘e-Tribes: Tribes India’ for digital commerce at Tribes India Outlet in New Delhi.
- It included the launch of e-commerce portal of TRIFED, tribesindia.com, M-commerce, the android app ‘Tribes India’.
- The Minister has also launched the Tribes India banner on Snapdeal, Amazon, Paytm and GeM for marketing of Tribal Products through these e-commerce portals.
- Now, around 55 thousand tribal artisans connected to TRIFED will get access to local as well as International markets.
- The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India.
- TRIFED came into existence in 1987.
- TRIFED has its registered and Head Office located in New Delhi.
6. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leaves for Japan on three day visit
- The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has left for Japan on a 3-day visit to attend the 9th India-Japan Foreign Minister’s Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan.
- During the strategic dialogue, India & Japan will review all aspects of bilateral relations and international issues of common interest.
- Mrs. Swaraj visit will strengthen the special strategic and global partnership with Japan.
7. India’s First Insect Museum Opened in Tamil Nadu
- A Rs. 5 crore insect museum with the state-of-the-art amenities was unveiled by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswamy at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
- The museum, established at a 6,691 sqft area, is fully dedicated to insects and is first of its kind in the country.
- It would display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behavior, habits, and habitats.
- Tamil Nadu CM- Edappadi K Palaniswami, Governor- Banwarilal Purohit.
8. Tulip festival 2018 : Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar open to visitors
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden has been opened for visitors on the foothills of Zabarwan Range, in Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir).
- It is the largest tulip garden in Asia spread over an area of about 30 hectares.
- This year around 1.25 million tulip bulbs were sown in the garden.
- Tulip is a very short-lived flower that comes to bloom in spring and lasts for barely a fortnight.
- The tulip garden was opened in 2008 with the aim to boost floriculture and tourism in Kashmir Valley.
- Tulip festival (25th March to 15th April-2018) is an annual celebration that aims to showcase the range of flowers in the garden as a part of tourism efforts by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, organized during the onset of the spring season in Kashmir valley.
- Jammu & Kashmir CM- Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, Governor-N. N. Vohra.
9. Notification of Legislative Assembly elections in Karnataka issued
- The Chief Election Commissioner ‘Om Prakash Rawat’ has announced the schedule for the Assembly election in Karnataka.
- Single phase polling in the state will take place on 12th May and results on the 15th May.
- There are 224 assembly seats in Karnataka 225 assembly seats, while one seat will be nominated from the Anglo-Indian community.
- The limit for expenses for candidates is Rs. 28 lakhs.
- VVPATs will be used with EVMs during the polling in over 56 thousand polling stations and over 4 crores 96 lakh people will exercise their franchise in the state.
10. Construction of 3,21,567 Affordable Houses Sanctioned For Urban Poor Under PMAY
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 3,21,567 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs18,203 crore with central assistance of Rs4,752 crore.
- The approval was given in the 32nd meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) held in New Delhi.
- Haryana gets maximum (70,671) Houses while Goa got the least (60). With the participation of Goa in the 32nd CSMC, all 35 States/UTs, having urban statutory towns and cities are now covered under the PMAY(U) Mission.
- The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Housing For All (Urban) will be implemented during 2015-2022 and will provide central assistance to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)
11. Union Rural Development Minister inaugurates ‘Saras Aajeevika Mela’
- The Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated the ‘Saras Aajeevika Mela’ at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
- The stalls will display the skills, potential and hard work of our women from across India.
- The products range from handlooms, handicrafts, artifacts and heritage products, tribal ornaments, decorative items, metallic products, earthen utensils, paintings, organic food items, spices, processed food products, soft toys, utility items, brass and wrought iron products.
- Now onwards two Saras Melas will be organized in each state.
12. Airport Authority of India (AAI) signs MoU with Assam govt. to develop villages in Kamrup
- The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Assam government under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative for the sustainable development of human settlements at villages in Kamrup district.
- It would provide financial assistance under its CSR initiative of Rs. 4.58 crore for the Kamrup district as per the estimates prepared by the UNDP to improve the resilience of communities around Guwahati Airport.
- Assam CM- Sarbanand Sonowal, Governor- Jagdish Mukhi.
- The Chairman of Airports Authority of India is Guruprasad Mohapatra.
13. BHEL wins 75MW solar photovoltaic plant in Gujarat against stiff international bidding
- The public-sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has won an order for setting up a 75 MW Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) power plant in Gujarat, against stiff international bidding.
- This is the organization’s largest solar PV project till date.
- The company is presently executing over 150 MW of ground-mounted and rooftop Solar PV projects across the country.
- This space-grade solar and battery panels as well as solar plants in various locations in India including the remote Lakshadweep islands.
14. World Theatre Day being observed : 27th March
- The World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated annually on 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community.
- World Theatre Day was created in 1961 by an international non-governmental organization International Theatre Institute (ITI), France. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
- ITI was founded in 1948 by UNESCO and the international theatre community.
- Each year, a World Theatre Day International Message is circulated, through which, at the invitation of International Theatre Institute (ITI), a figure of world stature shares his/her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace.
Banking & Finance
15. CBDT extends Aadhaar-PAN linking deadline to 30th June this year
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking for filing Income-Tax returns to June 30.
- This is a fourth extension given by the government for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) with their biometric ID (Aadhaar).
- As per updated data till 5th March, over 16.65 crore PANs, out of the total about 33 crores, have been linked with Aadhaar.
- Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act: Every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
16. India and ADB sign loan agreement of USD 80 Million
- The union govt has signed a loan agreement of USD 80 million with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help modernize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institution to improve the skills ecosystem in the State of Himachal Pradesh.
- The project will help the State step-up the reform and scale-up its skill development efforts.
- President of ADB- Takehiko Nakao, ADB Headquarters- Manila, Philippines, Opened on- 19th December 1966.
17. Govt. approves the guarantee of Rs 5,000 cr for IRFC Bonds in the current fiscal year
- The Ministry of Finance has approved Government guarantee of Rs. 5,000 cores in the current fiscal year for Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) bonds to be subscribed by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).
- The guarantee fee for the amount has also been waived by the Finance Ministry.
- On 11th March 2015, the Railway ministry had entered Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LIC by which LIC must provide a financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh 50 thousand crores for identified Railway projects from 2015 to 2109.
- Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) is a finance arm of the Indian Railway.
- It raises financial resources for expansion and running through capital markets and other borrowings.
18. Universal Real-Time Payment Tracking Introduces by SWIFT
- SWIFT announces the extension of its GPI Tracker to cover all payment instructions sent across the network, enabling GPI banks to track all their SWIFT payment instructions at all times, and giving them full visibility over all their payments activity.
- The Tracker, which has been available since May 2017, enables banks that have signed up to the service to track their GPI payments in real-time.
- SWIFT- Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication Code.
- SWIFT codes are most commonly used for international wire transfers and are comprised of 8 or 11 alphanumeric characters.
- The International Organization for Standardization (IOS) was the authoritative body that approved the creation of SWIFT codes.
19. Exim Bank extends USD 500 million credit facility to the 15-nation group in Africa
- The Export-Import Bank ‘Exim Bank’ will provide a USD 500 million credit facility to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to fund various development projects in western-south Africa.
- Now, Bank has extended four LoCs to the Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) of West African States, taking the total value of LOCs to USD 1,000 million.
- The LoC of USD 500 million is an umbrella limit for financing developmental projects in 15-member countries.
- Established by the Government of India, EXIM Bank commenced operations in 1982 under the Export-Import Bank of India Act, 1981.
- The Head Office of EXIM Bank is in Mumbai.
Honors & Awards
20. Chhattisgarh wins ‘Water Digest Award’ for water conservation
- The Union Minister of State for Water Resources ‘Arjun Ram Megwal’ presented the National ‘Water Digest Award’ to ‘Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department’ for Water Conservation-Diversion and increasing the irrigation capacity in the State.
- Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department had been given national Award during the past 17 years.
- The Award is presented every year by the globally renowned magazine ‘Water Digest’, which focuses mainly on water resources.
21. Justice Jawad Rahim appointed as acting Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT)
- The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud has appointed ‘Justice Jawad Rahim’ as the acting chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
- He will discharge his duties until a regular appointment is made and will take part in the selection process of other members of the NGT.
- Justice Rahim is the judicial members of the NGT, appointed on 12 January 2016.
- National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables the creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
- It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
22. Former director of NCBC Vijay Raghavan appointed the Principal Scientific advisor to govt.
- Former director of National Centre for Biological Sciences ‘K Vijay Raghavan’ (64-year) has appointed the principal scientific adviser for three years to the govt. of India.
- He will succeed nuclear physicist Rajagopala Chidambaram(81-year).
- Vijay Raghavan, a former director of National Centre for Biological Sciences, was appointed Secretary of Department of Biotechnology in 2013.
- The Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) is the one of the three scientific bodies advisor to the government of India on all matters related to science policy.
- The other two are Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM) and Science Advisory Council to the Cabinet (SAC-C).
23. India’s duo Manu Bhaker & Anmol jointly lift gold in ISSF Junior World Cup
- India’s duo Manu Bhaker and Anmol secured the seventh gold medal in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
- They finished 5.6 advantage over their closest rivals, Liu Jinyao and Li Xue (China).
- The pair won the mixed 10-meter air pistol event with a qualification world record.
- India’s Vivaan Kapoor claiming bronze in the men’s trap singles and team events.
- Genemat Sekhon bagged an individual bronze medal in the junior women’s skeet shooting final.
- Australia Capital- Canberra, Currency- Australian Dollar, Prime Minister- Malcolm Turnbull.
24. Australian skipper Steve Smith steps down as Rajasthan Royals captain
- Australian skipper Steve Smith relinquished captaincy of Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.
- Now, India’s Test vice-captain ‘Ajinkya Rahane’ has been named new skipper of Rajasthan Royals.
- Rajasthan Royals will launch their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 9th April 2018.
- David Warner also stepped down as captain of IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.
25. Iceland announces the diplomatic boycott of Football World Cup in Russia
- Iceland has announced a diplomatic boycott of the football World Cup in Russia over the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain.
- Icelandic leaders will not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.
- The Salisbury attack constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens security and peace in Europe.
- Britain has already announced that British royals and ministers would stay away from the FIFA tournament set for 14th June –15th July this 2018.
- The 2018 FIFA World Cup (21st) is a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA.
- A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018.