Current Affairs March 01, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 01, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. Recently, National drug pricing regulator NPPA has fixed the retail prices of 36 formulations, including those used for treatment of cancer, diabetes, infections, asthma, seizures, inflammation and pain, among others. As per data available with NPPA, the MRP for 105 brands will be reduced up to 85% entailing minimum saving of Rs 105 crore to consumers. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) currently fixes prices of drugs placed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) under Schedule-I of the DPCO. So far, around 1000 drugs have been brought under price control under the initiative. It also monitors annual price increase for these and the non-scheduled drugs. It also administers Pharma Sahi Dam and Pharma Jan Samadhan platforms for information on medicine prices and registering public grievances. The headquarters of NPPA is located in New Delhi.

2. The National Science Day (NSD) is observed every yearon 28th of February to mark the discovery of Raman effect by Physicist C V Raman on 28th February, 1928. For his discovery, Sir CV Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. In honour of this discovery and as a mark of tribute to the scientist, National Science Day was marked for the first time on February 28, 1987. The purpose of the day is to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people. This year, the theme for the 2019 NSD is, 'Science for the People and the People for Science'. The Raman Effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon by molecules which are excited to higher energy levels. It forms the basis for Raman spectroscopy which is used by chemists and physicists to gain information about materials.

3. The National Book Trust (NBT) has appointed educationist and author Govind Prasad Sharma as its new Chairman. Born in 1939, Sharma has served as the Principal of Government P.G. College, Madhya Pradesh. Later, he was appointed as the Additional Director of Higher Education (Gwalior Chambal Division) and has also been the Director of Madhya Pradesh Hindi Granth Akademi. He is the author of more than six academic books and several research papers, and has edited a few collected works. NBT is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Higher Education of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). The activities of the Trust include publishing, promotion of books and reading, promotion of Indian books abroad, assistance to authors and publishers, and promotion of children’s literature.

4. On Feb 26, the former England opener Alastair Cook has officially received the knighthood for his services to cricket by the Queen in an official ceremony at the Buckingham Palace. He is the first English cricketer to get the honour since Sir Ian Botham in 2007. Overall, Cook is the 11th Englishman to be knighted for services to cricket. Cook, who made his Test debut in 2006 against India, captained England for a record 59 Test matches and led the country to 24 wins in the longest format of the game. He has appeared in a total of 160 Tests for the national side. He retired from the Test cricket following the five-match series against India in September 2018.

5. In New Delhi, the Minister for Human Resources Development, Prakash Javadekar has launched the Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities to fresh graduates through the National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS). The aim of the program is to enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend. SHREYAS is a programme basket comprising the initiatives of three central ministries, including the HRD, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

6. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the United Kingdom must transfer the Chagos Islands (Diego Garcia) to Mauritius as they were not legally separated from the latter in 1965. It has ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal. In a non-binding opinion issued on 25th Feb 2019, the ICJ ruling deals a humiliating blow to the legitimacy of Britain’s territorial claim over the Chagos islands, which they call the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). The ruling is not legally binding. It must be noted that UK retained possession of the Chagos archipelago, which includes the strategic US airbase of Diego Garcia, after Mauritius gained its independence in 1968 & effectively paying Mauritius more than £4m for the islands. About 1,500 native islanders were deported so the largest island could be leased to the US for the airbase in 1971. They have never been allowed to return home.

7. India has been ranked 47th out of 100 countries in the Inclusive Internet Index (3i) 2019, which is prepared by the 'Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook. The list is topped by Sweden, followed by Singapore and the US. As per index, there are demonstrable benefits from comprehensive female e-inclusion policies, digital skills programmes and targets for women and girls to Study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This year, the index represented 94% of the world’s population and 96% of global GDP. The study revealed stalled progress on closing the digital divide.

8. Eminent Indian playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar has been chosen for the 2019 META Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be conferred upon with the award on March 12, along with the winners of the 14th Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) festival. Elkunchwar is critically-acclaimed and widely-known for having experimented with a wide range of drama and is considered a powerful force in both Indian and Marathi theatre scene. He has over 30 plays and essays to his credit including works like 'Sultan', 'Holi', 'Garbo', 'Yatanaghar', and 'Atmakatha'. His 1985 play 'Wada Chirebandi' (Old Stone Mansion) has been staged in Marathi, Hindi and Bengali, besides being adapted for television.

9. Suresh Raina has become the first Indian batsman to cross 8000 runs in T20 cricket. He achieved this feat when he scored 12 runs against Puducherry in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at Delhi on Feb 25. With those 12 runs, Raina has now scored 8,001 from 300 T20s which consisted of 284 innings. It was incidentally his 300th T20. Beside this, Raina is the second Indian after MS Dhoni to have played 300 T20 matches. Apart from Raina, Virat Kohli (7833) and Rohit Sharma (7795) are the only other batsmen in the top 10 list of the highest run-getters in T20 cricket. Overall, Raina is the sixth highest with David Warner (8111 runs), Shoaib Malik (8603), Kieron Pollard (8839), Brendon McCullum (9922) and Chris Gayle (12,298).

10. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated National Institutes of Design (NID) at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Jorhat in Assam through video conference from New Delhi on 22nd February 2019. Both institutes are autonomous institutions under Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The establishment of new NIDs will help produce highly skilled manpower in design which, in turn, will create job opportunities, both direct and indirect, by providing sustainable design interventions for crafts, handloom, rural technology, small, medium and large-scale enterprises and outreach programs for capacity, capability and institution building. The National Design Policy 2007 had recommended setting up design institutes on the lines of NID Ahmedabad in other parts of India to promote design programs. Four new NIDs have been set up in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) and Haryana (Kurukshetra) with a total outlay of Rs. 434 crore.

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