Current Affairs March 30&31, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 30&31, 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. Assam Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu launched the Enajori initiative in Guwahati. It is a special initiative for persons with disabilities with an aim that 'No Voter to be Left behind'. It is a joint initiative of CEO Assam and Social Welfare Department (SWD) with an objective to make 2019 Lok Sabha Elections accessible to Persons with Disability (PwD) voters. Under this initiative, comprehensive mapping of PwDs will be done in consultation with Booth Level Officers, Divyang Sarothis and a woman mascot-Chandraprabha, to facilitate the PwD voters for barrier-free and inclusive accessible elections. Under Enajori, sensitization programmes will be conducted by SWD to make aware the PwD voters about Braille system. A special initiative will be undertaken to make Braille voter slips and Braille ballot paper to facilitate blind voters.

2. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed the first-ever resolution ordering members to enforce laws against terror financing. The resolution demands all states to ensure that their domestic laws and regulations establish serious criminal offenses to collect funds or financial resources to terrorist groups or individual criminals. It also calls on members to create financial intelligence units. Nations that fail to carry out the resolution would face U.N. sanctions. U.N. counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov said the resolution comes at a "critical time," adding terrorists have gotten their hands on cash through both illegal and legal channels.

3. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has been awarded the “Best Sports Federation” award in the country by the Association Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM). This is another feather in the cap of the shooting sport community. NRAI is affiliated to International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), Asian Shooting Confederation (ASC), Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF), South Asian Shooting Confederation and Indian Olympic Association (IOA). It was founded in 1951 with a view to promote and popularize the shooting sports in India.

4. Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has been awarded the prestigious 2019 Bodley Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the University of Oxford's world-famous Bodleian Libraries. Sen received the medal in Oxford during an event called the ‘Founder’s Lunch’ from Chris Patten, chancellor of the university, and Richard Ovenden, librarian. Beside him, other winner of the 2019 Bodley Medal is Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, who will receive it during the Oxford Literary Festival on April 3.The Medal is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the fields in which the Bodleian is active, including literature, culture, science and communication. The medal was instituted in 1646 by Thomas Bodley, founder of the libraries. The Bodleian Library is the main library in the Bodleian Libraries group and is second in size only to the British Library. First opened in 1602, the group holds over 13 million printed items.

5. Manu Gulati, a teacher from a Delhi government school, was honoured with the 2019 Martha Farrell Award in the category of 'Most Promising Individual' for her decades of efforts in enabling a gender-neutral society by coaching boys and girls in Delhi schools. The Martha Farrell awards were instituted in memory of Martha Farrell, who was a passionate civil society leader, renowned and respected in India and around the world for her work on women's rights, gender equality and adult education. The awards are given in two categories - 'Most Promising Individual' and 'Best Organization for Gender Equality' - to individuals and organizations working toward issues pertaining to gender equality. In the Gender Equality category, the 2019 award went to Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS), a women-led organisation which started as a collective of rural women and, eventually, transitioned into a registered organisation in 2000 to fight against domestic violence.

6. Israeli researchers have discovered the world's longest salt cave, called Malham. It stretches over 10 km, runs through Mount Sodom, Israel’s largest mountain. The cave is a network of twisting passageways at the southern tip of the Dead Sea. It is near the desert site where, according to the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt. The Malham cave is larger than the previous record-holding cave in Iran. Iran’s Cave of the Three Nudes (Namakdan) on Qeshm Island, which is about 6km in length, was identified as the longest salt cave after a study by Czech and Iranian scientists in 2006. Mount Sodom is named after a location mentioned in the Book of Genesis, describing how Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt after she looked back at Sodom.

7. The 2nd Joint Logistics Node (JLN) of tri-services has recently become operational at Naval base in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The first JLN consisting of the three services was set up at Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2018.These centres will be used by the three services to procure rations, critical spares, and ammunition for basic weapons like rifles used by the Navy, Air Force and Army. The move aims to improve utilisation of resources, manpower and remove duplication. It has given the Indian defense forces a much-needed advantage against their adversaries, particularly those using the sea route from Pakistan. The JLN consists of three elements – the Joint Logistics Command & Control Centre (JLC&CC), which is the overall command organisation, the Tri-services Detachment at Material Organisation (TRIDAMO), which will meet logistical needs of the armed forces and the Triservices Advanced Detachment.

8. To promote innovation in FinTech space, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up a Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech Startups. The central bank will issue guidelines within two months for fintech companies to test their new products on a small group of users before scaling up. The sandbox will enable fintech companies to conduct live or virtual testing of their new products and services. It will also benefit fintech companies by way of reduced time to launch innovative products at a lower cost. These companies will also be able to test the viability of the product without a wider and expensive rollout. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech startups to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under supervision. Fintech (or financial technology) companies use technology to provide financial services such as payments, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, among others.

9. Vijayawada Railway Station has received Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for Green Measures. The station boasts of 100% LED lighting, five star rated fans, pumps and motors and solar water heating systems. It is one of the busiest railway junctions in the country. IGBC with the help of Environment Directorate of Indian Railways has come up with a system called Green Railway Stations Rating System (GRSRS) where railway stations will be encouraged to adopt more eco-friendly ways. The aim is to reduce the adverse effects to the environment because of the operation of the railways, and also to make the experience of the journey better for the passengers. The rating system helps to address national priorities like water conservation, handling of waste, energy efficiency, reduced used of fossil fuel, lesser dependence on usage of virgin materials and health and well being of occupants.

10. The book titled “Indian Fiscal Federalism” has been authored by former RBI Governor Dr. Y V Reddy and co-authored by Dr. G R Reddy. The authors noted that the Niti Aayog should ideally be the focal point for all transfers from the Centre and states outside the recommendations of the Finance Commission.

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