Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for March 2019 – Set 3

  • President Ram Nath presented Gallantry Awards 2019 on 14th March 2019. The awards were announced on Republic day which included one Ashok Chakra, two Kirti Chakra and nine Shaurya Chakra honours for the Indian Army. Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani with 34th Battalion of Rashtriya Rifles was awarded Ashok Chakra .
  • The Government of India has appointed Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, presently Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Eastern Naval Command as next Chief of the Naval Staff with effect from May 31, 2019. The present Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba retires on the same day. The government has once again broken the tradition of appointing the senior-most officer to lead the contingent forces by overlooking the seniority of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma.
  • The Indian Air Force formally inducted the CH 47 F(I)- Chinook heavy-lift helicopters into its inventory at Air Force Station Chandigarh. IAF had signed a contract with M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 15 Chinook helicopters. The first batch of four helicopters has been delivered on schedule and the last batch is to be delivered by March 2020.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the country’s first Lokpal. He is the first anti-corruption ombudsman of the country. Country’s first Lokpal has been appointed after a long delay of five years. The Lokpal Act had received the assent of the President on January 1, 2014. The oath was administered at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India has recently awarded Geographical Indication (GI) to five varieties of Indian coffee. They are – Coorg Arabica coffee, Wayanaad Robusta coffee, Chikmagalur Arabica coffee, Araku Valley Arabica coffee, Bababudangiris Arabica coffee. Karnataka is the highest coffee producing state in India.
  • Tashigang, a Himachal Pradesh village at an altitude of 15,256 feet has now become the highest polling station in the world. Situated about 29 km from the India-China border, the polling station covers two villages, Tashigang and Gate.
  • Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman Justice D K Jain (retd) will now serve as the Ethics Officer of the Indian cricket board on an ad-hoc basis. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), provisions in its constitution require an Ethics Officer to be appointed to determine and decide issues related to conflict of interest.
  • The Chairman of 15th Finance Commission of India, N.K. Singh launched the book “Indian Fiscal Federalism”. The book has been written by Dr. Y. V. Reddy, former Governor of RBI and Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission of India along with Dr. G. R. Reddy, Advisor (Finance) to the Government of Telangana.
  • The third edition of the biennial, bilateral exercise AUSINDEX 19 between India and Australia will be held off the coast in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.  The joint exercise will focus on anti-submarine warfare.
  • PM Modi announced that India has entered its name as an elite space power. An Anti-Satellite Weapon (A-SAT) successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit. The name of this mission was ‘Mission Shakti’. It was a difficult target to achieve which was completed successfully within three minutes of launch. This achievement does not violate any international law. Anti-satellite is a milestone for the country’s security and technological achievement. India is a space superpower now. India is only the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to have the A-SAT technology.
  • The World Happiness Report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, the International Day of Happiness. India is ranked 140th out of 156 nations. India shows a 7 spot decline. For the second consecutive year, Finland topped the list.
  • India has moved up 2 places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index. The annual list, compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability. Sweden remains at the top of list.
  • Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari launched the book titled ‘Every Vote Counts-The Story of India’s Elections’. The author of this book is former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla. 
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to strengthen digital payments as well as to boost financial inclusion through Financial Technology. 
  • Jet Airways Founders Naresh Goyal and wife Anita Goyal have stepped down from the board of the cash-strapped airline. With this, Naresh Goyal ceases to be Chairman. Another director Kevin Knight has also resigned. The board has accepted their resignations.
  • University of Texas professor Karen Uhlenbeck has become the first woman to win the Abel Prize, a mathematics honour first given in 2003.The 76-year-old was awarded for the impact of her work on “analysis, geometry and mathematical physics”.
  • Kazakhstan has renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honor outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. Mr. Nazarbayev, 78, served nearly 30 years as president of the nation.
  • International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year’s theme was – ‘Leaving No One Behind’.
  • The three pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun were on March 27, 2019 awarded with the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award “for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing”.
  • According to the Skytrax World Airport Awards, Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the world’s best aviation hub for the seventh time in a row, while New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport featured at number 59. Singapore Changi Airport is known for its rooftop swimming pool, two 24-hour movie theaters and shopping spots. At number two on the list is Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), up one place from 2018. This hub also won World’s Best Domestic Airport and World’s Cleanest Airport. Incheon International Airport secured 3rd position in the list. The other Indian aiports in the list were Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport at 64, the Rajiv Gandhi Hyderabad International Airport at 66 and Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport at 69.
  • India on April 1 will launch an electronic intelligence satellite ‘Emisat’ for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites. ISRO, for the first time, will also demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. PSLV-C45 will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. EMISAT, weighing 436 kg, is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. The 28 international customer satellites are from four countries, viz. Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and USA. All these satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements.
  • 64th Filmfare Awards 2019 were held on 23rd March at Jio Gardens Mumbai for recognizing best talent in Hindi Cinema. The awards given in some categories are as follows:
    • Best Film: Raazi
    • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female): Alia Bhatt for Raazi
    • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male): Ranbir Kapoor for Sanju
    • Best Director: Meghna Gulzar for Raazi
  • Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina has become the first ever cricketer to reach 5,000 runs in Indian Premier League.
  • India won a total of 368 medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. The medals include 85 gold, 154 silver and 129 bronze medals. Indian power lifters bagged the maximum number of medals – 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze. Roller skating earned India 49 medals – 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze.
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