Important Current Affairs of 8th March 2019 : UPSC, SSC and RRB

1.Cabinet Approves On March 7, 2019

*On 7th March 2019, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a stock of decisions on various proposals. The details of the cabinet approvals are as follows:

Cabinet approves on March 7, 2019Cabinet approves scheme to rebate embedded taxes

  • Union cabinet approved a scheme to rebate all state and central embedded taxes to support the textile sector and make it more competitive.
  • It will enable the government to various measures for making exports of apparel and made-ups zero rated. It will also ensure equitable and inclusive growth of textile and apparel sector.
Cabinet approves surrendering of AAI encroached land to MP government
Cabinet approved the proposal of Airport Authority of India (AAI) for surrendering encroached AAI’s land measuring 106.76 acres at Bhopal Airport to Madhya Pradesh government. The state government has in turn handed over 96.56 acres of land which is adjacent to existing land to Bhopal Airport and the remaining will be made soon.

Creation of post of Technical Members in SAT, Mumbai approved by the Cabinet
Cabinet has approved the proposal for creation of the Post of Technical member in Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), Mumbai which will facilitate creation of an additional bench in SAT for speedy disposal of appeals.

Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage Mission approved by Cabinet
Union Cabinet approved National mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage which will finalise and implement strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes (PMP) for electric vehicles, batteries and their components.

Proposal for reservation in Teachers Cadre Ordinance 2019 approved by Cabinet
Union Cabinet approved the proposal for release of ‘The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance 2019 considering the college/University as a unit instead of subject/department. It will attract eligible talented candidates and improve teaching standards.

Cabinet nods ECHS facilities to veterans, pre-mature retirees
Cabinet approves the grant of Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities to World War II veterans, Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECO), Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) and pre-mature retirees. They will get the benefits of cashless medical treatment under ECHS facilities.

Cabinet approved ‘FMBAP’ for Flood Management Works in entire country
Cabinet approved the ‘Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP) for Flood Management Works in entire country, river management activities and works related to Border areas for the period of 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 3342.00cr.

Cabinet approves continuation of National AIDS Control Programme IV
Cabinet approved continuation of National AIDS Control Programme IV (NACP-IV) beyond 12th Five year plan for a period of 3 years from April 2017 to March 2020 with a total outlay of Rs.6434.76 cr.

Cabinet approves the 3rd railway line between Narayangarh and Bhadrak on SER
Cabinet approves the construction of a 3rd Railway line between Narayangarh in West Bengal and Bhadrak in Odisha (155kms) on South Eastern Railway (SER) with a total cost of Rs.1866.31 cr. The construction will be completed during year 2023-24.

Implementation of 1320MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Project in UP got cabinets approval

Cabinet approved the Investment in 2X660MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Bulandahahar, Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs.11089.42 cr.

Investment approval for 1320MW Buxar Thermal Power Project in Bihar got Cabinet approval
Cabinet approved the Investment approval for 2X660MW Buxar Thermal Power Project in Buxar, Bihar with an estimated cost of Rs.10439.09 cr. The project will be implemented by SJVN Thermal Private Limited.

Teesta Stage-VI HE Project in Sikkim received Cabinet nod
Cabinet approved the Investment sanction for acquisition of M/s Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Limited (LTHPL) and execution of balance work of the Teesta Stage-VI HE Project by NHPC limited in Sikkim. The estimated cost is Rs.5748.04 crore for the project.

Kiru Hydroelectric Project in Jammu and Kashmir got Cabinet approval
Cabinet approved the Investment in construction of Kiru Hydroelectric Project (624MW) by M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s CVPPL) in Jammu and Kashmir with an estimated cost of Rs.4287.59cr.

Cabinet approves GoM recommendations on Stressed Power Plants
Cabinet approved the recommendations made by Group of Ministers (GoM) relating to stressed power projects including grant of coal linkage for short-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

2.A series of visually impaired friendly Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20 coins unveiled by PM Modi

*Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new series of visually impaired friendly coins of in the denominations of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 at an event held in New Delhi where visually impaired children were specially invited. All the new series coins will be issued for circulation only through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in terms of the RBI Act. The exact date of issuance of new series coins is yet to be announced.

India’s first 20 rupee coin features:

  1.  The new 20 rupee coin isn’t in a circular shape unless every other new series of coins released today. New Rs 20 coin is in polygon shape of 12 edges with a design of grains denoting the agricultural dominance of the country.
  2.  The outer ring the new 20 rupee coin is made up of nickel silver and the central piece is made of nickel brass. The outside diameter of the new Rs 20 coin is 2.7 centimetres and the weight of the new Rs 20 coin is about 8.54 grams.
  3. The ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar’ is minted on the face of new 20 rupee coin with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ inscribed below it and, while, the denomination value of 20 is minted in international numerals along with the Indian Rupee symbol on the reverse side of the new 20 rupee coin.
  4. ‘Bharat’ in Hindi and ‘India’ in English is minted on the left and right periphery on the face of new Rs 20 coin and the year of minting is inscribed on the centre of left periphery of the new 20 rupee coin in international numerals, such as ‘2019’.
  5. The coins are designed by the National Institute of Design and minted at state-owned mints at Mumbai, Alipore (Kolkata),Saifabad (Hyderabad), Cherlapally (Hyderabad) and Noida (U.P.).

3.IRDAI, NHA form a working group chaired by Dinesh Arora to curb fraud in Ayushman Bharat scheme

*The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a joint working group (JWG) in order to suggest ways for more effective implementation of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

Key Points:
The group would comprise of 11 members.

  1. It will be headed by Dinesh Arora, Deputy CEO of NHA and co-headed by Suresh Mathur, Executive Director of IRDAI.
  2. The group shall prepare a report on management of hospitals under the scheme, data management and exchange, development of IT infrastructure for claims.
  3.  12 months will be given to submit a report on a national repository of empanelled hospitals under insurance/government schemes. with defined standards for quality and package rates and codes.
  4. The group will get 3 months to submit a report on data standardisation and exchange.
  5.  In 6 months it would have to make recommendations to detect and avoid frauds by building a common repository and through capacity-building.

4.MoU between UPSC and CSCM to strengthen relations approved by Union Cabinet

*The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Civil Service Council of Mongolia (CSCM) aimed at strengthening the existing relationship between them.

  1.  It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.

About UPSC
  • Charman – Arvind Saxena
  •  Headquarters – New Delhi
About Mongolia
  •  Capital – Ulaanbaatar
  •  Currency – Mongolian tögrög
  •  President – Khaltmaagiin Battulga

5.French Space Agency CNES and ISRO signed maritime surveillance agreement

*The president of French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales), Jean-Yves Le Gall and K Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed an agreement in Bengaluru, to implement the short-term plan for the French-Indian programme to develop a space-based maritime surveillance system.

  1. The CNES-ISRO agreement, intended to supply an operational system for detecting, identifying and tracking ships in the Indian Ocean, provides for a maritime surveillance centre to be set up in India in May 2019.

About France
  •  Capital – France
  •  Currency – Euro
  •  President – Emmanuel Macron
About ISRO
  •  Chairman – K Sivan
  •  Headquarters – Bengaluru

6.Credit info co. CRIF Highmark ties up with CreditVidya for first-time borrowers

*A credit firm CRIF Highmark has collaborated with CreditVidya– data analytics firm, to enable lenders to provide credit to new borrowers or those who are underserved.

  1.  The collaborated-entity aims combine the past data of the customer with additional data from the other digital sources to prepare a credit report on the basis of which lenders can decide whom to lend.
  2.  CRIF Highmark holds 1.6 billion records spanning over the entire Indian borrowing segment. The first-time borrower segment is estimated by CreditVidya at around 350 million.

7.OECD cuts global growth forecast over trade

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD) has cut the forecasts for the global economy in 2019 and 2020, owing to trade disputes and uncertainty over Brexit that would largely affect the world commerce and businesses.
Key Points:
  1.  The interim outlook report by OECD predicts the growth rate of 3.3% for 2019 and 3.4% for 2020, which is 0.2% and 0.1% lesser respectively as compared to the November 2018 forecasts,
  2. The forecasted growth rate for Germany in 2019 is 0.7%, down from previous 1.6%. A growth rate of 1.1% is expected for 2020.
  3.  Personal income in USA had fallen for the first time in more than three years in January while consumer spending dropped the most since 2009 in December

8.Ajit Kumar Mohanty appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

*On 6th March 2019, Ajit Kumar Mohanty, a distinguished scientist was appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) by the Ministry of Personnel.
 Currently, he holds the position of Director of Physics Group, BARC and Director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.

  1. His tenure would last for a period of three years.

9.Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Chief Scientist at WHO

Soumya Swaminathan who is currently a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been appointed as the Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Key Points:
  1. She used to be one of the 3 Deputy Director-General assisting Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
  2. The Chief Scientist is a newly created position and division.
  3.  This new division is the Department of Digital Health, in the Division of the Chief Scientist. She will oversee the digital work and help the department in assessing digital technologies, and help countries in deciding as to how to to prioritise, integrate and regulate them.

10.e-Dharti App was launched by Hardeep S Puri

On 7th March 2019, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs launched e-Dharti App to make all the three modules – Conversion, Substitution and Mutation online.
Key Points
  1.  e-Dharti GeoPortal was also launched by Hardeep Puri to allow the lessee of the property to see the basic details of property along with its location on map.
  2.  Government will be able to know the actual status of its vacant properties through the App.
  3. The Payment system in Land and Development Office (L&DO) has been digitized and now, public can submit their application online through L&DO website.

11.16-year-old P. Iniyan became 61st Chess Grandmaster of India

*16-year-old Iniyan Panneerselvam from Erode, Tamil Nadu, won at the Noisiel Open in France by defeating GM (Grand Master) Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine in the sixth round and became the 61st Grandmaster for India crossing 2500 points in ELO ratings.

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