Current Affairs March 22, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 22, 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. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed transgender social activist Gauri Sawant, as one of the 12 election ambassadors from Maharashtra. It's the first time that a transgender has been appointed as an election ambassador in India. According to the Election Commission, Gauri Sawant's appointment would help in more people from this category getting registered during the final phase of voters enrollment. It stated that in the next few days, Gauri Sawant would visit every transgender and inspire them about the need for voting. During 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections there was no record of transgender voters. Following the Supreme Court order, transgenders got the right to vote for the first time in 2014. In 2014, 918 voters were registered in this third category. This number has doubled in five years and now it is 2,086. There are 113, 184, and 123 registered transgenders in constituencies of Bhiwandi, Kalyan, and East Mumbai respectively. North Mumbai constituency has registered the maximum number of 324 transgender.

2. Prof. Karen Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin has become first woman to win the Abel Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious international mathematics awards. The award is sometimes called the Nobel Prize of mathematics. She has been awarded the 6 million Norwegian kroner ($700,000) prize for her work in the fields of geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics. The prize was first awarded in 2003 to honor the 19th-century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.

3. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently released the 2018 report on patents filed by members of its Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The United Nations (UN) data shows the United States remained the leading individual country for patent applications in 2018. But on a regional basis, Asia’s surge continued. It’s a sign of innovation shifting from west to east because more than half of all international patent applications filed last year came from Asia. In the main category-the PCT, the US led the way with 56,142 applications, followed by China (53,345) and Japan (49,702). Germany and South Korea came in a distant fourth and fifth, with fewer than 20,000 applications each. India registered the largest innovation jump of any country last year. Patent applications jumped more than 27% - from 1,583 in 2017 up to 2,013. Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei also set new record for the number of patent applications filed a single corporation in one year with 5,405. Patent filings are seen as a measure of the spread of science and technology in a country. Patent protection also provides monopoly rights to the inventor.

4. The World Sparrow Day (WSD) is observed every year on 20th of March to protect these little birds and conserve their houses. The house sparrow is on the verge of extinction. The 2019 theme "I Love Sparrows" is inspired by hope that more and more will celebrate the relationship between People and Sparrows. The initiative was started by Nature Forever Society (NFS) of India, founded by Mohammed Dilawar, an Indian conservationist. He started his work helping the house sparrow in Nashik. He was also named one of the "Heroes of the Environment" for 2008 by Time for his efforts. The idea of marking WSD came up during an informal discussion at the NFS’s office. The idea was to earmark a day for the house sparrow to convey the message of conservation of the house sparrow and other common birds and also mark a day of celebration to appreciate the beauty of the common biodiversity which is taken so much for granted. The first WSD was celebrated in 2010 in different parts of the world. To encourage efforts made towards this cause and to selflessly conserve the environment, NFS has instituted the first Sparrow Awards in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on 20 March 2011.

5. Recently, Italian Premier Premier Giuseppe Conte has pledged to make Italy the first Group of Seven nation to join China's ambitious Belt and Road initiative, despite objections from the United States and concerns within his governing coalition. While, on 20th March 2019, India signalled that it will boycott China's second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for a second time. It stated that no country can participate in an initiative that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. India boycotted the first BRF in 2017 after protesting to Beijing over the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) overriding New Delhi's sovereignty concerns. China has already deepened its commitment to expand the USD 60 billion CPEC, which aims to connect China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port with a host of road, rail, gas and oil pipelines.

6. The International Day of Happiness (IDH) is observed every year on 20th of March to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. The day is a good reminder that our world is changing. If we want to understand how we progress, why we sometimes fail & ultimately improve the quality of all our lives, then the pursuit of happiness may offer an answer. The 2019 theme “Happier Together” focuses on what we have in common, rather than what divides us. It is celebrated by all 193 UN Member States.

7. Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka. The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted from 26 March to 08 April 2019 in Sri Lanka. Troops from 1st Battalion the BIHAR Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise. The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate.

8. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the longest-serving post-Soviet leader, has unexpectedly resigned as president of Kazakhstan after 29 years in power in a surprise public address on national television. But, he would remain the chairman of the country’s powerful security council, the leader of the Nur Otan party, which dominates parliament, and his official title as “The Leader of the Nation”. The move comes on the back of growing social discontent and an economy still recovering from an oil price plunge in 2014. Western sanctions against Russia, a key trading partner, have also hit the economy. Known as “Papa” to many Kazakhs, Nazarbayev has ruled the vast oil and gas-rich Central Asian nation since 1989, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He has been Kazakhstan's President since 1990 and was formally elected in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, speaker of the upper house of parliament, will take over as Kazakhstan's acting president for the remainder of his term in line with the constitution.

9. The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has launched smart garbage bins made of stainless steel. These smart garbage bins will be able to send a signal to the garbage collection vehicle about the ‘fill-up’ position of the bin, aiding better cleaning and lower human intervention. The environment-friendly garbage bins will be made of SAIL SALEM stainless steel. These will be installed in underground Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) pits at the Smart Garbage Station. This will help prevent the spread of stink and diseases. There will be separate bins for recyclable and non-recyclable wastes. The pits in which the bins will be placed, will be covered with a pit cover fabricated out of stainless steel slip-free sheets. Suitable openings on the pit cover will allow the sanitation crew to dump the collected garbage into the stainless steel bins placed underground. SAIL will supply stainless steel garbage bins to Smart Garbage Stations at Bhikaji Cama Place in Delhi, which is being developed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

10. Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser (60) has been awarded the prestigious $1.4 million Templeton Prize for year 2019 for his work on blending science and spirituality. He is the first Latin American to win the prestigious prize. Gleiser is theoretical physicist and views that science and religion are not enemies. He has also explored in depth how science and religion both try to respond to questions on the origins of life and the universe. The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.

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