Current Affairs March 18, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 18, 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. Maate Mahadevi (74), Head of Basava Dharma Peetha at Kudalasangama and a prominent Lingayat leader, has passed away in Bangalore, Karnataka on March 21, 2019. Installed as ‘Jagadguru’ in the 1970s, Maate Mahadevi launched several educational and religious institutions and published several books. She holds the 12th century woman poet Akka Mahadevi, who also wrote vachanas, as her role model. Beside this, she was at the forefront of the movement demanding separate religion status for the Lingayat community that erupted in the state in 2017-18 and had angered Veerashaiva seers and leaders.

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2. The Supreme Court of India (SCI) has appointed senior advocate P.S. Narasimha as mediator for resolving various disputes related to cricket administration in the country. Narsimha is also assisting the apex court as amicus curiae in the BCCI matter. A bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and A.M. Spare also asked Mr. Narasimha to look into the dispute relating to release of funds by the court appointed committee of administrators to various cricket associations. In addition, the Supreme Court has also directed that no Court or Tribunal in India shall entertain or proceed with any matter pertaining to BCCI or any State Cricket Association(s) till Narsimha submits his report. Earlier, the apex court had appointed its former judge Justice (retd) D K Jain, as the first court-appointed ombudsman for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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3. Karnataka has won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the first time. In the final, they defeated Maharashtra by 8 wickets at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. With the win, Karnataka set a record of most number of wins in a row by an Indian domestic team as they won 14 T20 matches to lift the coveted T20 trophy. Karnataka also equaled Indian Premier League outfit Kolkata Knight Riders’ record of 14 consecutive wins.

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4. National record holder Irfan Kolothum Thodi has become the first Indian from athletics to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships at Nomi in Japan. Irfan clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 57 seconds in the 20-kilometre walk to attain the standard qualifying mark for the Olympics. The fourth-place finishes also ensured a berth in the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Doha that begins in September 2019. Two other Indian race walkers, who qualified for the World Championship are Devinder and Ganapati. Having qualified for Tokyo 2020, this will be Irfan’s second Olympics having represented the country in 2012 London Games. The Olympics qualification period for race walk events and marathon race has begun from January 1 this year and will run till May 31, 2020.

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5. The IIT Kharagpur has signed a MoU with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to set up India’s first state-of-the-art 1.3 PetaFlop high performance computing facility and data center funded under the National Supercomputing Mission. PetaFlop is the measurement of computing power based on the frequency of mathematical calculations that can be done per second. This computing facility will provide large-scale computational support to the researchers, who are engaged in research activities in diverse areas of national importance. It will be used for specific challenge domains like cryptography, molecular dynamics, chemistry, drug discovery, artificial intelligence (AI) and data sciences. The facility is expected to come up in the next 3-4 months with the work to be carried in three phases of – ‘assembling, assembling and manufacturing and design and manufacturing. C-DAC is a premier R&D organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

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6. The Geographical Indications Registry has recently granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Coorg Arabica Coffee, Wayanad Robusta Coffee, Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee, Araku Valley Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee. According to the GI application, Coorg Arabica Coffee is grown specifically in Kodagu district in Karnataka. As per the application petitions, Chikmagalur Arabica Coffee and Bababudangiris Arabica Coffee are both grown in Chikmagalur district, Karnataka which is also known as the birthplace of coffee in the country. Araku Valley Arabica Coffee, grown around Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh and Koraput district in Odisha, is light to medium in strength, has a pleasant acidity with a citrus note of grape fruit and a mild jaggery-like sweetness. As per the GI application for Wayanad Robusta Coffee, the flora of Wayanad is characteristic of the Western Ghats and the plantation crops grown in the cool climate. A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation by virtue of their geographical association. The tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the geographical origin of the product. The owner of the GI tag has exclusive rights over the product.

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7. International Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino has recently announced that India will host the 7th edition of U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. This will be the 2nd FIFA tournament India will be hosting, after the U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017. The Spain under-17 women’s team is the defending champion, while North Korea has had most success in the competition with two titles. Japan in 2014, France in 2012 and South Korea in 2010 have been the other winners.

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8. On March 15, the first-ever BRICS Sherpa meeting under the Presidency of Brazil concluded at Curitiba in Brazil. T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA, led the Indian delegation at the 2-day meeting. During the meeting, India conveyed its support for the priority areas set out by Brazil, particularly to take forward BRICS cooperation on counter terrorism in a meaningful and concrete manner with BRICS member countries. New Delhi also underlined the need to take forward people-to-people cooperation and cooperation in science and technology and innovation and in health and traditional medicine.

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9. The West Nile Virus (WNV) fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection, which is rare in India. It is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes West Nile fever. It is a member of the family Flaviviridae, specifically from the genus Flavivirus, which also contains the Zika virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the WNV is transmitted to humans through bites from Culex mosquitoes which get infected when they feed on infected birds. The infection could be confirmed only if the second samples test positive. Hence, birds are the natural hosts of WNV. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph glands. It is in news because a 7-year-old boy from Kerala was recently diagnosed with the WNV fever. For this issue, the Union has dispatched a multi-disciplinary Central team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to assess the spread of WNV in Kerala.

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10. Darryl D’Monte (74), the senior journalist and environmental activist, has passed away in Mumbai on March 16, 2019. During his long career, D’Monte worked as the resident editor with leading media organisations such as ‘The Times of India’ and ‘Indian Express’ in Mumbai. He also wrote for websites and penned the book ‘Ripping the Fabric’ on the decline of cotton mills in Mumbai and the resulting challenges. He had also served as the chairperson of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI) and was the founder-president of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists (IFEJ) in Dresden, Germany, in 1993.

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