Current Affairs March 25, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 25, 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 World Water Day (WWD) is observed every year on 22nd March to tackle the global water crisis in households, schools, workplaces and farms. This day is also celebrated as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development. The 2019 theme ‘Leaving no one behind’ is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The aim of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind.

2. Kazakhstan has officially renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev who stepped down as President after three decades in office. The change was announced after Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn-in as president. He will serve for the remainder of the presidential term which expires in April 2020. Mr. Nazarbayev ruled Kazakhstan since before it gained independence with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. He steered the country through a major transformation, developing huge energy reserves and boosting its international influence, but was accused of cracking down on dissent and tolerating little opposition. Mr. Nazarbayev will continue to enjoy significant powers thanks to his Constitutional status as “Leader of the Nation”, life-time position as chief of the security council and head of the ruling Nur Otan party. Astana was previously known as Akmola, Tselinograd and Akmolinsk.

3. Haku Shah (85), the renowned Indian artist, has passed away in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on March 21, 2019. He was best known for his themes of tribal and folk art. Born on 26th March 1934, Shah did his Masters in Fine Art under renowned artists like K G Subrahmanyam. A large part of his work was deeply influenced by tribal art and culture, as well as the Bhakti movement, especially its Nirguna poetry. Shah was also a cultural anthropologist. He carried out extensive field research and documentation on rural and tribal arts and crafts, traditions and folk lore, and established a tribal museum at Gujarat Vidyapith. Fondly known as "Haku bhai", the award-winning artist also set up the first of its kind Crafts Village - Shilpgram in Udaipur in Rajasthan in the 1980s. Shah, who published his memoirs, "Manush" in 2009, received several awards including the Padma Shri (1989), the Jawarharlal Nehru Fellowship and the Kala Ratna for his contribution to art.

4. In its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO), Fitch Ratings has recently cut India’s economic growth forecast for the financial year FY20 starting April 1, to 6.8% from its previous estimate of 7%, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy. According to Fitch, the RBI has adopted a more dovish monetary policy stance and cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage at its February 2019 meeting, a move supported by steadily decelerating headline inflation. Fitch Ratings cut India’s FY19 GDP growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.8% on December 6. The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7% from 7.3% and 7.1% from 7.3%, respectively.

5. Indian technology company Infosys has signed a three-year partnership agreement with Roland-Garros to provide technology solution for tennis tournament The French Open, also called Roland-Garros. The 3-year deal, running from 2019 to 2021, is aimed at enriching the game by providing fans, players and coaches with a new experience leveraging Infosys’ expertise in digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, mobility, virtual and augmented reality. As part of the partnership, Infosys and Roland-Garros will work on several new digitally-enabled experiences. These include a re-imagined fan experience powered by data and analytics, which will enable fans to follow live scores, “feel the pulse” of live matches, delve deeper into match analytics and understand what ultimately influenced the outcome of the match. The tool will be available on the official Roland-Garros website during the tournament.

6. Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh has been elected in the athletes standing committee of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) at its 38th General Assembly in Bangkok . Apart from him, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta was named in the culture standing committee. Hockey India secretary general Mohd Mustaque Ahmad is in the media standing committee, while Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwala and Lalit Bhanot have been elected in the sports for environment and sports standing committees respectively. All the members have been elected for a four-year term from 2019 to 2023. The OCA General Assembly was held in Bangkok on March 2 and 3.

7. India's deepest shaft cave has been discovered at Krem Um Ladaw in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya during the 28th edition of the annual 'Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition'. The cave has a 105 m deep shaft entrance passage. The cave has a 105 m deep shaft entrance passage. This comes a year after the discovery of the world’s longest sandstone cave - Krem Puri - near the village of Laitsohum in Mawsynram region of East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. With a length of 24,583 metres, Krem Puri was discovered back in 2016 but the actual length of the cave was obtained by the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA) during one of its expeditions. The cave system has fossils of dinosaurs, especially the Mosasaurus, a giant reptile that lived 66-76 million years ago. With all these discoveries , Meghalaya has become one of the top caving regions of the world.

8. The first-ever high-level dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia with theme was ‘Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Inclusive Region’. It was organized by Government of Indonesia and saw participation of all 18 EAS member states including India. The Dialogue reflected India's view that has outlined by PM Modi in 2018 Shangrila Dialogue -- inclusive and transparent & rules based indo-Pacific. The delegates participated in the thematic debate under three themes: sustainable development goals, maritime cooperation, and infrastructure and connectivity. The purpose of the dialogue was to urge all participating governments to talk openly about their plans for increasing cooperation and for building trust in Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean region.

9. SpiceJet has become the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership of global airlines’ grouping International Air Transport Association (IATA). The membership also allows SpiceJet to explore and grow its collaborations with international member airlines of IATA through interlining and code shares. This will enable SpiceJet to seamlessly expand the network options for its passengers in future. The IATA represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.

10. On the occasion of World Happiness Day (WHD -2019), the United Nations released the 7th annual World Happiness Report, which ranks the world's 156 countries on “how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”. In it, India has dropped 7 spots and is ranked 140th in the 2019 UN World Happiness Index. As a result, India featured in the five countries that had the largest drop since 2005-2008 in the index, along with Yemen, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela. Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year in succession. The Nordic nation is followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands. The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: Income, freedom to make life choices, Trust, Healthy life expectancy, Social support and Generosity. The report noted that there has been an increase in negative emotions, including worry, sadness and anger. Pakistan is ranked 67th, Bangladesh 125th and China is placed at 93rd, according to the report. People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).

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