Current Affairs Updates - 21st March 2018
Here we have listed some of the important headlines in our today's Current Affairs Updates - 21st March 2018. These belong to sections like National, International, Schemes, Obituary and Agreements. We hope readers will go through them in details and will practice the Daily Current Affairs Quiz regularly for better performance in the examination. Also go through the One Liner Static GK and Note Down Points.
The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20
- It was conceptualized and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.
World Sparrow Day is celebrated on 20th MArch
- World Sparrow Day is a day designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations, observed on 20 March.
New Appointments: National
Shri Atul M. Gotsurve appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Shri Atul M. Gotsurve (IFS: 2004), currently Director in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
New Appointments: International
US-educated economist Yi Gang has been named the next governor of China's central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC).
- Mr Yi has been deputy governor of the bank since 2008, but his appointment was largely unexpected.
Vijay Sankar named Honorary Consul General of Denmark
- Vijay Sankar, Deputy Chairman, Sanmar Group, has been appointed Honorary Consul General for Denmark in Chennai, by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark, with the concurrence of the Government of India, according to a press release from the Sanmar Group.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been elevated to the post of State Councilor, signaling a revamp of China’s foreign policy establishment, which is likely to influence New Delhi-Beijing ties.
- Mr. Wang will continue to retain the post of Foreign Minister. The State Councilor, attached to the State Council, China’s cabinet, is of a higher rank than Foreign Minister.
Banking, Economic & Financial Affairs
Axis Bank opens representative office in Sharjah
- Axis Bank opened a representative office in Sharjah, to better serve its customers in the emirate and to expand its retail offerings to customers in the neighbouring northern emirates.
Bhel has commissioned first unit of 110 MW of the Kishanganga hydro-electric project (HEP) of NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Bhel was entrusted with execution of the Electro-Mechanical (E&M) package for the project comprising design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of Vertical Shaft Pelton Turbines and matching synchronous Generators, Controls & Monitoring (SCADA) System along with electrical and mechanical auxiliaries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that Mumbai’s second airport would see its first flight next year
- Modi inaugurated the much-delayed Rs 16,000-crore project, seen as an imperative alternative to the existing Mumbai airport, which is bursting at its seams.
Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar on Tuesday said the government has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in Jharkhand's Deoghar
- A statement from the ministry said the Minister requested the Jharkhand government to facilitate land/building infrastructure to set up the Central Institute for Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) alongside the Plastic Park for training people to become plastic engineers and technicians.
National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) becomes the World’s First Trusted Digital Repository
- National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) project of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has been certified as the world’s first Trusted Digital Repository as per ISO 16363:2012 standard, granted by Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorisation Body Ltd. (PTAB), United Kingdom.
Defence & Railway News
The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises 'Varuna' in Arabian Sea off Goa coast.
- The conduct of VARUNA, and the special impetus on taking this Navy-to-Navy cooperative engagement forward, was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.
The Gulf Shield – 1 military exercise of 23 countries including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states was held in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.
- It was organised by Ministry of Defence of Saudi Arabia. The one month exercise was largest military drill in region as it saw participation of participation of ground, naval and air forces of participating countries.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo on Monday announced the appointment of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador for India
- Aamir has been signed for future brand and product communication initiatives of Vivo India, the company said in a statement.
Agreements/ MoUs Signed
India’s Department of Space (DoS) and the European Union on Monday signed a landmark agreement that will allow sharing of earth observation satellite data.
- Under the pact, the EU will provide India free, full and open access to its global data from its Copernicus satellite system, a statement from the EU said.
SBI, IMGC signs MoU to offer mortgage guarantee backed home loan scheme
- State Bank of India (SBI) and India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) on Monday signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to offer innovative Mortgage Guarantee scheme for prospective non-salaried and self-employed home loan customers.
Online marketplace and hospitality service provider Airbnb has signed four MoUs to boost tourism North East India.
- The MoUs were singed under aegis of Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER).
India and Hong Kong on Monday entered into a double taxation avoidance agreement, aiming to facilitate investment flow between both countries and prevent tax evasion.
- Investors will get an advantage of a lower withholding tax of 10% on interest or royalties provided they fulfil the main purpose test which broadly checks that the transaction is not entered specifically to avoid taxes.
A UK-based genomics data platform and an American genetics company, on Sunday, collaborated to create the world’s largest project of its kind to study Indian population.
- Cambridge-headquartered Global Gene Corp (GGC) said its new multi-year tie-up with Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, is aimed at finding innovative diagnosis and therapies for rare diseases.
Summit /Conference / Events
The first National workshop on POSHAN Abhiyan involving all the states and union territories was held at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is organizing the day-long workshop with participation from all the states/UTs.
Two day informal WTO Ministerial Meet begins in New Delhi
- The meet will provide an opportunity for free and frank discussions to representatives from several developed and developing countries.The meet is also expected to help resolve several complex issues.Addressing the meet.WTO Director-General said the discussion is on with the US for reforming the institution.
7th Women Science Congress, 2018 was inaugurated today in the backdrop of the ongoing 105th Indian Science Congress on its 3rd day being held at Manipur University since 16th March.
- Keshari Nath Tripath, Hon'ble Governor of West Bengal inaugurated the 7th Edition of Science Congress for women at the Centenary Hall of Manipur University.
The Kerala government is organising a two-day global digital summit from March 22 to develop a roadmap to make the state a hub for digital innovation and investment.
- The event titled `# Future’ to be inaugurated by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kochi is expected to be attended by 2000 delegates including professionals, entrepreneurs, academicians, startups founders and corporate bodies.
Awards & Honours: Sports
Defending champion Purva Barve won the women's singles (Under-19) title at the Israel Junior 2018 held in Rishon LeZion.
- Seeded No. 4 in the event, Barve, a trainee at the Nikhil Kanetkar Badminton Academy, won the long drawn battle against third seeded and top-ranked Russian Anastasiia Pustinskaia
Naomi Osaka Wins at Indian Wells for Her First WTA Title
- Naomi Osaka’s ability to deliver a victory speech is, by her own admission, a work in progress, but if she continues to play as well as she did this year in the California desert, she will get plenty of chances to perfect the art.