Current Affairs March 20&21, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 20&21, 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. Indian Coast Guard Ship 'INS Vijit' has become the first-ever Coast Guard ship to visit Indonesian port of Sabang on March 17, 2019. The ship is commanded by Comdt T Ashish (0532-J), who is a long Navigation Direction officer. The 4-day visit of INS Vijit highlighted the close proximity between the two countries and the strengthening cooperation in maritime security and safety. During its maiden voyage officers and crew of Vijit will hold interaction with officials of Bakamla (Indonesian Coast Guard), Indonesian Armed Forces and the civil administration at Sabang. It is the another step forward in implementation of "Shared Vision of Maritime Cooperation in the Indo Pacific". 'Vijit' meaning "Winner or Victorious" is the testimony of India's shipbuilding capabilities and the resolve of Govt of India to safeguard country's maritime interests. Earlier, in July 2018, Indian naval ship INS Sumitra visited Sabang and highlighted the maritime proximity between India and Indonesia.

2. IIT Roorkee has signed a pact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up an ISRO-IITR Space Technology Cell (STC). The ISRO – IITR Cell shall pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian Space Programme and shall devote its resources including human resources to this effect. The activities of STC shall be directed to maximise the use of the research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience that already exist in ISRO and IIT Roorkee. Its research facility will consist of faculty members, visiting scientists and experts, research personnel, technical, administrative and support staff. IIT Roorkee will be responsible for overall management of STC by providing required infrastructure, administrative and other support.

3. The 3rd edition of Namaste Thailand Festival (NTF-2019) was held at Select Citywalk in New Delhi on March 15, 2019. The 3-day fest was organised by the Royal Thai Embassy with an aim to strengthen bilateral ties and increase cultural exchange between India and Thailand. The festival featured stage performances by Thai artistes including the much popular Thai folk-jazz band Asia-7. Along with the traditional Thai cuisines, the Namaste Thailand festival will feature a series of Thai craft activities including mulberry paper mini umbrella making, fan painting, body paint, and button badge making.

4. Diksha Dagar, an Indian female professional deaf golfer, has created history by becoming the youngest Indian woman to win on the Ladies European Tour (LET) at the age of 18 as she won the 2019 Investec South African Women's Open in Cape Town on 16th March. She also became the 2nd Indian woman golfer to win a title after Aditi Ashok.

5. Pramod Sawant, the former Speaker of the Goa legislative Assembly and BJP MLA from Sankhelim in north Goa, has been sworn-in as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan by Governor Mridula Sinha. He succeeded Manohar Parrikar, who died on March 17 after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. A six-time MLA and former Defence Minister, Mr Parrikar was born on 13th December 1955. He graduated from IIT Mumbai with a B.Tech degree in metallurgical engineering. Mr Parrikar was first elected to the Goa assembly in 1994. He served as Chief Minister of the state during October 2000 to February 2005; and March 2012 to November 2014. From November 2014 till March 2017, he served as the Union Defence Minister. Mr Parrikar returned to Goa in March 2017 as the State Chief Minister. The popular leader would be remembered for his efforts in infrastructure and education development in the state and bringing the International Film Festival of India to Goa in 2004.

6. The book titled “The Great Disappointment: How Narendra Modi Squandered a Unique Opportunity to Transform the Indian Economy” has been authored by economic and political commentator Salman Anees Soz. The book claims that Demonetisation was a terrible idea and the government's own economic surveys have indicated that this move contributed to a slowdown in the economy. According to author, demonetisation was a self-goal by the Modi government. The book attempts to answer the overarching question of whether or not the Modi government transformed India's economy and what the next government's agenda should look like. The book is also a critical assessment of five years of the brand of economics Modi has championed, often referred to as 'Modinomics'.

7. Bengaluru FC won the 5th edition of the Indian Super League (ISL-2019) by defeating FC Goa 1-0 in the final at the Mumbai Football arena on 17th March 2019. It’s their first-ever ISL title. The two teams were locked 0-0 after 90 minutes. Even the first extra time saw no goals but Bengaluru got better of a 10-men Goan team 1-0, 4 minutes from the end of the second extra half. In it, Bengaluru FC defender Rahul Bheke became the match winner for the team in the dying minutes of the final.

8. Delhi-based Journalist and author, Raghu Karnad has won the 2019 Windham-Campbell Prize under non-fiction category for his debut book 'The Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War' in London. Hence, Karnad has become the 2nd Indian to receive the prestigious prize, since Jerry Pinto won it for his novel ‘Em And The Big Hoom’ in 2016. Karnad is one of the 8 winners chosen across four categories—fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry— this year. Each of the eight winners won $165,000 as prize money to support their writing. In terms of the award money, Windham-Campbell Prize is one of the richest literary awards worldwide. The Windham-Campbell Prize was established in 2013 by writer Donald Windham to honour his late partner Sandy Campbell. It is now co-presented by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

9. The first-ever joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) titled “Sary Arka Antiterror 2019” is scheduled to be held in grasslands of Kazakhstan in the Sary Arka region. The decision to hold the joint exercise 'Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019' was announced during the 34th meeting of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The SCO, in which China plays an influential role, is also comprised of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan were admitted into the bloc in 2017. Delegations of the competent authorities of India, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the RATS Executive Committee attended the meeting. RATS is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism. It is headquartered in Tashkent. The next meeting of the Council of the RATS SCO is scheduled to be held in Russia in September 2019.

10. Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Mukesh Sahu has launched an initiative ‘i-help’ to promote digital electoral literacy in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll. The ‘i-help’ is a joint initiative of the office of the Assam CEO and Common Service Centres (CSC). This particular initiative will fill the digital divide and fulfill the objective of turning the General Election more inclusive and participatory. The CSCs are internet-enabled access points spread throughout the country delivering various government and non- government digital services to the citizens and is uniquely positioned in rural areas to significantly extend the awareness and outreach activities of CEO, Assam. The entire programme is being launched under the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) in the state and it is geared to ensure that no voter is left behind. The voting in Assam will take place at 28,143 polling stations in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23.

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