Current Affairs March 23-24, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 23-24, 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 International Day of Forests is observed every year on 21st of March to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. It also seeks to highlight vital role played by forests in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security. The 2019 theme is “Forests and Education”. This year, the International Day of Forests promotes education to Learn to Love Forests. It underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies.

2. Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi will be honoured with the Vyas Samman 2018 by the KK Birla Foundation for his collection of poems “Jitne Log Utne Prem”. The book, published in 2013 was selected by a Chayan Samiti presided over by litterateur Dr. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari. Born in Dhangal village in Tehri Garhwal of Uttarakhand, Mr. Jagudi was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004 apart from other awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Akashvani National Award, Uttar Pradesh Hindi Institute and Uttarakhand Gaurav Samman. The Vyas Samman, started in 1991 is given to an outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen which has been published in the last decade. The award carries an amount of Rs. 4 lakh.

3. In football, India has clinched the SAFF Women's Championship for the fifth time in a row. In thefinal, they defeated hosts Nepal 3-1 at Biratnagar on 22nd March 2019. In the first half, Dalmia Chhibber of India scored the first goal of the match which was equalled by Nepal's Sabitra Bhandari at the 33rd minute. In the second half, Grace Dengmei scored the second goal at 63rd minute and Anju Tamang scored third and decisive goal in the 76th minute. This was India's 23rd straight victory in the championship since its inception in 2010. India has clinched all five editions of SAFF championship.

4. Jimmy Carter — the 39th president of the United States — has reached a new milestone and become the longest-living President in U.S. history at the age of 94 years and 172 days. It exceeds by one day the lifespan of former President George H.W. Bush, who died in November 2018 at the age of 94 years and 171 days. Both men were born in 1924: Bush on June 12, Carter on Oct. 1. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

5. Researchers from the University of Arkansas and Argonne National Lab in the US have identified more cost-effective and efficient ways of producing hydrogen fuel by splitting water. They showed that nano-particles composed of nickel and iron are better alternatives than more costly materials when used as catalysts in the production of hydrogen fuel through water electrolysis. The team demonstrated that using nanocatalysts composed of nickel and iron increases the efficiency of water electrolysis, the process of breaking water atoms apart to produce hydrogen and oxygen and combining them with electrons to create hydrogen gas. When nanoparticles composed of an iron and nickel shell around a nickel core are applied to the process, they interact with the hydrogen and oxygen atoms to weaken the bonds, increasing the efficiency of the reaction by allowing the generation of oxygen more easily.This marks a step toward making water electrolysis a more practical and affordable method for producing hydrogen fuel. Current methods of water electrolysis are too energy-intensive to be effective.

6. Researchers at Purdue University in the US, including one of Indian origin, have developed a new process to remove nearly all traces of oil in produced water -- a byproduct from the oil refinery and extraction process. The process uses activated charcoal foam and subjects it to solar light to produce heat and purify the water. The foam absorbs the oil contaminants from the water. Ashreet Mishra, a graduate research assistant at the Purdue University, said that this is a simple, clean and inexpensive treatment process. The process meets all environmental standards for clean water from industrial sources and had a total organic carbon of 7.5 milligrams per litre. Another advantage is that the oil absorbed by the foam can be recovered efficiently. The researchers were able to recover up to 95% of the oil that was absorbed. The process could be integrated with existing disposal systems to purify a large amount of water and reduce the current stress on water grids.

7. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has recently released the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC). These guidelines urge businesses to actualize the principles in letter and spirit. For this purpose, the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011 (NVGS) have also been revised. According to the guidelines, businesses should conduct and govern themselves with integrity in a manner that is ethical, transparent and accountable. Businesses should provide goods and services in a manner that is sustainable and safe. It should also respect and promote the well-being of all employees, including those in their value chains.

8. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed the next Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). Singh will succeed Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires on May 31. At present, Vice Admiral Singh is serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. In his 36-year-old career, Karambir Singh has commanded an Indian Coast Guard Ship, a Naval Missile Corvette as well as Guided Missile Destroyers. The Chief of the Naval Staff is the commander and the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy. The position is abbreviated CNS in Indian Navy cables and communication, and usually held by a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral.

9. In Mumbai, ESPNcricinfo has partnered with IIT Madras to launch ‘Superstats’, a next level artificial intelligence tool that can analyse cricket statistics through machine learning. The tool will forecast if and how a player’s or a team’s performance can turn around a game, on real time. Superstats will analyse the game of cricket on a combination of stats metrics- Luck index, Forecaster and Smart Stats using data science for the first time to give a context to every event in a game and also venture into new territories such as luck and forecasting. According to IIT researchers, the algorithms process data to quantify the impact of luck and analyse the real value of a player’s performance in the game of cricket on real time. Apart from forecasting, it also reveals trends and patterns during a game as the actual match data is fed on real time. For this, Superstats uses the vast ball-by-ball database of ESPNcricinfo, which has more than a decade of detailed data, and scientific methods, processes and complex algorithms based machine learning. This work was led by Raghunathan Rengaswamy and Mahesh Panchagnula of IIT-Madras along with the ESPN team.

10. The World Poetry Day (WPD) is celebrated every year on 21st of March across the world to recognize the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. . The day was adopted in 1999 during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris. The observance of the day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

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