Current Affairs March 29, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 29, 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. Justice (Retd.) DK Jain, who is the newly appointed ombudsman for the BCCI, will also be its ad-hoc Ethics Officer. The mandate of the Ethics Officer is to look into matters of conflict of interest involving players, coaches and officials. Justice Jain is already looking into Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul chat show controversy due to which the duo served provisional suspension. The Rule 39(1) of the new BCCI Constitution states: “The BCCI shall appoint an Ethics Officer at the Annual General Meeting for the purpose of guidance and resolution in instances of conflict of interest. The Ethics Officer shall be a retired Judge of a High Court so appointed by the BCCI after obtaining his/her consent and on terms as determined by the BCCI in keeping with the dignity and stature of the office. The term of an Ethics Officer shall be one year, subject to a maximum of 3 terms in office.

2. Three researchers - Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun have won the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing. Bengio is Professor at the University of Montreal and Scientific Director at Mila, Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence Institute; Hinton is VP and Engineering Fellow of Google, Chief Scientific Adviser of The Vector Institute, and University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto; and LeCun is Professor at New York University and VP and Chief AI Scientist at Facebook. The ACM A.M. Turing Award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing”. It is the premier international award for achievements in computing and includes a $1 million prize funded by Google Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing.

3. Prafulla Rajguru (82), the veteran journalist and academician, has passed away in Jorhat, Assam on March 28, 2019. Rajguru had retired as the head of the department of English from DCB Girls College in Jorhat in 1997 and after his retirement he joined leading Assamese daily 'Amar Asom' as executive editor of the Jorhat edition where he served till 2000.Rajguru authored four books and was a member of several social organisations like the Asom Sahitya Sabha. He was also the founder president of Jorhat Press Club and was its adviser till his death.

4. Tashigang, a small village of Himachal Pradesh, has now become the world’s highest polling station. The polling station falls in Buddhist-dominated Lahaul-Spiti district of the state at an altitude of 15,256 feet, and is one of the 17 assembly segments that form the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, the second largest constituency in the country. Located around 29 km from the India-China border, this polling station covers two villages - Tashigang and Gete. As per the revised electoral rolls, the two villages have 48 voters, of which 30 are men and 18 women. 78-year-old Rigjin is the oldest voter at this polling station. Earlier, the non-descript tiny settlement of Hikkim, positioned at an altitude of about 14,400 ft, was the highest polling station in India.

5. According to the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), India has reduced its poverty rate drastically from 55% to 28% in 10 years between 2005-06 and 2015-16. The report, covering 105 countries, dedicates a chapter to India because of this remarkable progress. In India, a total of 271 million (27.10 crore) people moved out of poverty during these ten years. However, India still had 364 million poor in 2015-16, the largest for any country, although it is down from 635 million in 2005-06. The report was recently released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The report said that across the 640 districts in India, the poorest district is Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh, where 76.5% of people are MPI poor. Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. However, Bihar is still the poorest state in 2015-16, with more than half of its population in poverty.

6. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently published the ‘Global Energy & CO2 Status Report’, which is designed to provide an update on the world’s energy markets, including the latest available data for oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear power, electricity, and energy efficiency. According to the Report, According to the IEA’s Global Energy & CO2 status report, India saw primary energy demand increase 4% or over 35 million tonne of oil equivalent in 2018. This accounts for 11% of global demand growth. Comparably, energy consumption worldwide grew by 2.3% in 2018. This is nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010. Global energy demand growth was driven by a robust economy as well as higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. The growth in India was led by coal for power generation and oil for transport. The world’s three largest energy intensive countries, China, the United States, and India, together accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in global energy demand.

7. The researchers from Australian Antarctic Program have discovered a network of lakes lying under the ice during their 160-day expedition to the Totten Glacier, the largest in eastern Antarctica. The lakes were detected by scientists setting off small explosives 2m below the surface of the Totten glacier and listening to the reflected sound. They are discovered by using seismic studies, which were conducted to find out if there is bedrock or water, as sub-glacial lakes or ocean, under the ice. The study has shown that there are substantial amount of water found in these lakes could impact the predicted rise of the sea level. Thus, this research may help scientists predicting how melting of Antarctic glaciers would change the world’s oceans polar ice will change the world’s oceans in the future. The Totten glacier is 30km wide and up to 2km thick, and has the potential to raise sea levels by 7m. The seismic study involved setting off a series of small explosions at about 2m below the surface of the glacier.

8. The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade is observed every year on 25th of March to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the transatlantic slavery system. The day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. The 2019 theme “Remember Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice”, aims to recognize the importance of art in confronting slavery, to raise awareness of the struggles and to empower those who have been affected by it.

9. There was a proposal of the Pakistan government to establish a corridor that will allow Hindu pilgrims from India to visit Sharda Peeth, an ancient Hindu temple and cultural site in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). However, on 28 March 2019, Pakistan said no decision has been taken so far on the opening of the Sharda temple corridor for Hindu pilgrims from India in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and asserted that there should be "a positive atmosphere" for taking such steps.

10. The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended adding Break dancing, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games when the full membership meets in June. A final decision must be made by the board in December 2020 after further monitoring of the four. The addition of these four sports to the Paris medal program offers the opportunity to connect with the young generation. All four sports will be assessed in terms of how they are managed, the integrity of competitions and judging, before being finalized for Paris.

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