Current Affairs March 09& 10, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 09& 10, 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. Malaysia has become the 124th member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after ratifying the Rome Statute. It joined the ICC because of the following reasons: Firstly, the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine and the Rohingya crisis. Secondly, the May 2018 election of Mahathir Mohamad for his 2nd stint as Prime Minister has brought a significant shift in the relationship between the Malaysian government and monarchy. Thirdly, the election of Mahathir and appointment of a new Attorney General, Tommy Thomas, has seen the main legal obstacles to ratification removed. Finally, Malaysia’s decision to ratify the Rome Statute has also been driven by Mahathir’s stated ambition to see his country “play a more active role” in ASEAN and the United Nations. Hence, it is third country of the 10 member states of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), to ratify Rome Statute after Cambodia and Philippines. However, Philippines has announced its withdrawal from the ICC and it is set to take effect from 19th March 2019. Earlier, Burundi became the first country to quit the court in 2017.

2. The US space agency NASA has recently announced that it will carry out first all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) on 29th March 2019. Astronauts - Christina Koch and Anne McClain -will walk outside the ISS on a mission to replace batteries installed last summer. They will get ground support from Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. In addition to two space walkers and the flight controller, Mary Lawrence will take the helm as lead flight director and Jackie Kagey will be the lead flight controller. Earlier, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to carry out a spacewalk on 25 July 1984.

3. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a Joint Working Group (JWG) to curb fraud in the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). The 11-member group, with NHA Deputy CEO Dinesh Arora as the chair and lRDAl Executive Director Suresh Mathur as the co-chair, would submit a report within 6 months on how to detect and deter fraud through a common repository and capacity-building. The JWG will develop standards for field verifications and investigations besides guidelines to “name and shame” fraudsters. It will also take up a comparative study of packages and their rates, besides defining standards. Additionally, it will suggest common IT infrastructure for health insurance claims management to increase efficiency and transparency among stakeholders. The AB-PMJAY is the health insurance scheme for availing secondary and tertiary care, cashless treatment at empanelled private and public hospitals across the country to families listed in SECC (Socio-Economic Caste Census) 2011. Eligible families get Rs 5 lakh per year.

4. Indian-American television personality and internationally acclaimed food expert, Padma Lakshmi has been appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its newest Goodwill Ambassador on the eve of International Women’s Day (IWD-2019). In this new role, Lakshmi will mobilise support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on fighting inequality, discrimination and empowering the disenfranchised.

5. The International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated every year on 8th of March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The purpose of the 2019 theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” is to achieve gender equality by putting innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts. The Campaign theme of 2019 IWD “#BalanceforBetter” would provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action with campaign’s activity reinforced and amplified all year.

6. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has recently approved the investment sanction for construction of 624 MW Kiru Hydro Electric Project on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs.4287.59 crore and is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4 1/2 years. The Kiru HE Project is visualized as a Run of River (RoR) Scheme & designed complying with the requirements of Indus Water Treaty 1960. The Project would generate 2272.02 MU in a 90% dependable year. The CCEA also approved the investment for 1320 Mega Watt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.

7. Distinguished scientist Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty has been appointed new Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for a period of 3 years. He is at present Director, Physics Group, in BARC and Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics. The BARC is India’s premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai. It is a multi-disciplinary research centre with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development covering the entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas.

8. The Union Cabinet has approved the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to promote clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives in the country. The multi-disciplinary mission with an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee will be chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The mission will also launch the Phased Manufacturing Programmes (PMP) for Batteries and for Electric Vehicle components. The PMPs will be valid for five years till 2024 to support setting up of a few large scale, export competitive integrated batteries and cell manufacturing Giga plants in India. The programme will provide a plan which will send a clear signal to the industry to make the necessary investments in capacity to localize the value chain. Hence, the creation of a PMP would localise production along the entire electric vehicles value chain. The mission will also coordinate with key stakeholders in ministries/ departments and states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.

9. The Union Cabinet has recently approved the "Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP)" for Flood Management Works in entire country and River Management Activities and works related to Border Areas for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a total outlay of Rs.3342.00 crores. The FMBAP Scheme will be implemented throughout the country for effective flood management, erosion control and anti-sea erosion. The proposal will benefit towns, villages, industrial establishments, communication links, agricultural fields, infrastructure etc. from floods and erosion in the country. The catchment area treatment works will help in reduction of sediment load into rivers. The funding pattern for FM Component for works in general category States will continue to be 50% (Centre) : 50% (State). For projects of North Eastern states, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Centre will bear 70% of the cost. The aim of the Scheme is to assist the State Governments to provide reasonable degree of protection against floods in critical areas by adopting optimum combination of structural and non-structural measures and enhancing capabilities of State / Central Government officials in related fields.

10. Dr. Zhores Alferov (88), a Russian physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, has passed away on 2nd of March in St Petersburg. In 2000, Alferov received the Nobel Prize in Physics together with US scientists Jack Kilby and Herbert Kroemer, for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed-and optoelectronics. He was the first Russian to win a Nobel Prize since Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev won the peace prize in 1990. He was also elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972, and a full member in 1979.

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