Current affairs is one of the inevitable and compulsive topic in almost every competitive examinations. It is inevitable for an aspirant to get updated on daily current affairs happening around the world. Daily newspaper reading and follow-ups are necessary for mastering these current affairs section. In this article, we have provided the top weekly current affairs from March 23 to March 29, 2020 which will help all aspirants to improve scores in their competitive examination like PSC, SSC, RRB and Banking.
Top Weekly Current Affairs for all Competitive Exams 2020 March 23 to 29
Here are the list of top current affairs of the week March 23 to 29, 2020 which will be helpful for all competitive examinations like PSC, SSC, RRB, Banking etc.
RAISE 2020: First Artificial Intelligence Summit of India postponed due to CoronaVirus
- The GoI has postponed the first artificial intelligence summit of the country called RAISE to October 2020.
- RAISE 2020 is Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020. The summit has been postponed to contain the spread of CoronaVirus in the country.
- It was to be conducted between April 11, 2020 and April 12, 2020. The Summit is first of its kind.
- It aims to provide India with a roadmap towards social inclusion, transformation and empowerment with the help of Artificial Intelligence.
- The Summit aims to outline the goals and vision of India in using Artificial Intelligence. It will enable the exchange of ideas in order to create mass awareness about the current needs of Artificial Intelligence.
March 22: World Water Day
- Every year since 1993, World Water Day is being celebrated on March 22. It is being celebrated to spread the importance of freshwater.
- The day is celebrated by the United Nations as well along with various other organizations all over the world.
- The main purpose of World Water Day is to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6. This includes Water and Sanitation for all by 2030.
- By 2050, more than 5.7 billion people are to live in areas where it is scarce. The water demand all over the world is to increase by 50% by 2040. Therefore, it is important to mark more such events that aim at conserving water.
UP govt announces one-month free food grains to poor
- Uttar Pradesh govt announced several actions and measures in its fight against coronavirus.
- Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced to provide one-month free food grains to poor people along with Rs 1,000 as compensation to daily wage workers who have been affected due to the outbreak of the deadly virus.
- Around 20 lakh 37 thousand labourers registered with the labour department will be given rupees 1000 each in their accounts through the DBT scheme.
- One crore 65 lakh needy poor people will be provided a one-month foodstuff, including 20 kilograms flour free of cost.
SDMC launched a website for information related to Coronavirus
- The South Asia Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Disaster Management Centre has launched a website for information related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
- SAARC has launched the website, www.covid19-sdmc.org., in aid to the pandemic. The website will show the number of coronavirus cases in the member states and update the numbers regularly.
- The website reported that around 960 coronavirus cases had been reported in the SAARC region. Also, five people have lost their lives in India, three in Pakistan, and two died in Bangladesh due to COVID-19.
- SDMC is the Interim Unit (IU) of SAARC. It was set up under the premise of Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM). The eight Member States, namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, are served by the SDMC (IU).
World Meteorological Day is observed on 23rd March
- The World Meteorological day is observed on 23 March. The day is celebrated by the World Meteorological Organization. The day marks the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization.
- The theme of the 2020 World Meteorological day is “Climate and Water.” The theme focus on climate change for the year 2020 is “Count Every Drop, Every Drop Counts.”
- The day focuses on the challenges posed by the water crisis, floods and droughts, and lack of access to clean supplies.
- The World Meteorological Organization was established on 23 March 1950. The day showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society.
Shaheedi Diwas was observed in India on 23 March
- Shaheedi Diwas (Martyrs’ Day) was observed in India on 23 March.
- The day is observed every year. On this day, the martyrs who laid out their lives for the country and its Independence are remembered. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the Martyrs on this day.
- Shaheedi Diwas pays tribute to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru, who died on 23 March 23 in 1931.
- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru mistook John Saunder for British police superintendent James Scott and assassinated John Saunders, a British police officer in 1928.
Lok Sabha passed Finance Bill 2020 without discussion
- Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill 2020 on 23 March.
- So far, more than 40 amendments were introduced by the government to the Finance Bill, which was moved for consideration and passed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Bill was passed by voice vote and without discussion.
- The Bill was introduced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government for fiscal 2020-21.
India goes on Complete LOCKDOWN to fight COVID-19; allocates Rs 15,000 crores
- On March 24, 2020, PM Modi announced that the Government of India has allocated Rs 15,000 crores to fight against CoronaVirus.
- The Fund is to be used to increase health infrastructure in the country. This includes testing kits, beds and training professionals to combat the disease.
- The allocated funds are also to be used in the procurement of personal protective equipment for health care workers. The Prime Minister has also announced complete lockdown of the country for 21 days.
- The Union Home Ministry has listed the commercial establishments that will continue to operate during the lockdown. It includes power generation units, petrol pumps, cold storage units, private security agencies, food, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
New Hanta Virus Emerges in China after COVID-19
- A man in Yunnan Province of China has tested positive for Hantavirus.
- He died shortly after he was tested positive for the virus on March 23, 2020. The symptoms of Hantavirus are similar to that of the CoronaVirus.
- The Hanta Virus, also called the Orthohanta virus spreads through rats. It causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
- It transits through urine, droppings, saliva of rodents. The virus enters humans through their nose, mouth or eyes.
Centre announces free ATM withdrawals for 3 months
- Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that debit cardholders could withdraw cash from any other bank’s ATM free of charge for the next three months.
- There will not be any minimum balance requirement fee in the bank accounts. The announcement comes as lockdown, and the curfew is in place in many parts of India amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Centre has also waived minimum bank charges for savings bank accounts. Finance Ministry is also working on an economic package that will be announced soon in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March
- World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24 March.
- The aim is to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social, and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
- The theme of the 2020 World Tuberculosis Day is “It’s time.”
- The theme aims to scale up access to prevention and treatment, build accountability, ensure sufficient and sustainable financing including for research, promote an end to stigma and discrimination, and promote an equitable, rights-based, and people-centred TB response.
GoI develops new biofortified high protein wheat variety
- The scientists of Agharkar Research Institute (Pune), operating under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have developed biofortified high-quality wheat. The new variety is MACS 4028.
- The new wheat variety has 14.7% better nutritional quality, 40.3 ppm of iron content and high milling quality.
- The new variety is semi-dwarf and matures in 102 days. Also, it has a high yielding ability of 19.3 quintals per hectare.
- The MACS 4028 was supported by UNICEF funds to alleviate malnutrition in India. Now the new wheat variety will help boost Vision 2022 of India which is, “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat” (National Nutrition Strategy).
Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as CM of Madhya Pradesh
- BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on 23 March for a fourth term.
- The oath office was administered by the Governor of Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon. He was nominated by the outgoing leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava and supported by former minister Narottam Mishra, Meena Singh of the State.
- The outgoing CM Kamal Nath resigned on 20 March after 22 Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP. It pushed his government into a minority. The cabinet expansion will happen after voting for the Rajya Sabha elections.
- Shivraj Chouhan is the 32nd Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Chouhan represents Budhni constituency in Sehore district. In 1990, he was first elected to the State Assembly from Budhni Constituency.
G20 Video Summit on CoronaVirus
- The Saudi Arabian King Salman is to chair the G20 summit on Corona Virus through a video conference.
- The Summit is to be held on March 26, 2020. The summit becomes significant as several international organizations are to participate in the summit. India is a member of G20.
- Several worldwide international organizations are to participate in the summit. It includes WHO (World Health Organization), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), WTO (World Trade Organization), IMF (International Monetary Fund), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gulf Cooperation Council and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development).
- From India, PM Modi is to attend the summit. The leaders will strategize methodology to combat the virus. The global growth for the year is negative according to the IMF.
Deadline for GST returns extended to 30 June
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has extended the last date for filing GST returns for March, April, and May to 30 June.
- The previous date for filing of GST returns was March 31, 2020. The deadline for composition returns on GST has also been extended to 30 June 2020.
- The companies with less than Rs.5 crore turnover will not be charged interest or penalty for the late filing of GST. Bigger companies with a turnover of more than Rs.5 crore will have to pay the interest amount at 9% for delayed filing of GST. No late fee or penalty will be levied.
- Also, the last date to opt for the compensation scheme has been extended to 30 June 2020. The last date to file income tax returns (ITR) for Financial Year 2018-2019 has been extended to 31 June.
National Book Trust launched StayHomeIndiaWithBooks
- The National Book Trust of HRD Ministry has launched #StayIn and #StayHome to encourage people to read books while at home.
- It provides select and best-selling titles for FREE Download as part of its initiative of #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks! The move comes in the wake of Preventive Measures of the Government of India to contain the spread of COVID-19. The 100+ books are in the PDF format at #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks!.
- It can be downloaded from the NBT’s website https://nbtindia.gov.in.It will be available in Hindi, English, Asamiya, Bangla, Gujarati, Malayalam, Odia, Marathi, Kokborok, Mizo, Bodo, Nepali, Tamil, Punjabi, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu and Sanskrit.
UP bans sale of pan masala
- The Uttar Pradesh state government has imposed a ban on the production and sale of pan masala during the 21-day lockdown imposed across the country.
- The move comes in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The information was passed by Food Security Commissioner Ministhy S.
- As per the ban, manufacturing, sale, and storage of pan masala are being banned in the state till further orders. The aim is to avoid spitting of pan masala which can spread COVID-19. The state has earlier banned “gutkha” on 1 April 2013. Violators will be punished according to the law.
- The State again reiterated that all essential items will be delivered at the doorstep of citizens so that people do not face any inconvenience.
- The books will cover all genres of fiction, biography, popular science, teacher’s handbook, and majorly books for children and young adults.
Sunil Chhetri, Indian Football team Captain named for FIFA’s COVID-19 Campaign
- Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri has been picked among 28 players for the world governing body FIFA’s campaign to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- He has been selected along with Lionel Messi, Philip Lahm, Iker Casillas, and Carles Puyol.
- FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have partnered to combat the coronavirus and launched ‘Pass the message to kick out coronavirus’, a new awareness campaign, led by world-renowned footballers.
- The campaign urges people to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease. The five key steps as per the WHO guidance, is hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.
Hospital in Jaipur to use the humanoid robot to serve COVID-19 patients
- The Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Government Hospital in Jaipur is to introduce the usage of humanoid robots to provide services to the COVID-19 patients.
- The hospital is conducting a series of trials on a humanoid robot to check if the robot can be pressed into service to deliver medicines and food to the COVID-19 patients admitted in the hospital.
- It is aimed to keep the doctors and nursing staff at a safe distance to protect them against the dreaded coronavirus.
- The hospital is currently conducting test trials to put the robots into use. The robots are aimed to help out both the patients and the staff. The robot is battery-operated and has a life span of 4-5 years.
Centre to provide Rs.1.70 lakh crore relief package under PMGKY
- The Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs.1.70 lakh crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana on 26 March. The move aims to help the poor to fight the battle against CoronaVirus.
- The components of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package include Insurance scheme for health workers who fight COVID-19 in Health Care Centres and Government Hospitals.
- The Ministry has created a Welfare Fund for Building and Other Constructions Workers. Under the Central Government Act, the State Governments will be given directions to utilize the fund to provide assistance and support to these workers to protect them against economic disruptions.
- Self-Help groups, The limit of the collateral-free lending of the 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) has increased from Rs.10 to Rs 20 lakhs.
World theatre day is observed on 27 March
- World Theatre Day celebrated is observed annually on the 27 March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. The day aims to promote theatre in all its forms across the world.
- The main objective of the World theatre day is to enable theatre communities to promote their work on a broad scale so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it.
- The World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). The day has been celebrated since 1962.
- ITI was established in 1948. It was initiated by the first UNESCO Director-General, Sir Julian Huxley, and the playwright and novelist JB Priestly.
Apple launched app for COVID-19 information
- Tech giant Apple has released a new dedicated app and website for users across the US. The app provides accurate and credible information to users about the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The new COVID-19 app and website provide the needed guidance and latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The app has been made available on the App Store. The users can also use the new tools to answer questions around risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms.
- The tool will provide guidance on social distancing and self-isolating based on risk level. Apple has also enabled Siri to provide guidance and resources from the CDC.
Indian Army launched Operation Namaste
- Indian Army has launched an initiative christened ‘Operation Namaste’ to extend all possible assistance to the government in containing the spread of coronavirus.
- The operation was launched by Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on 27 March.
- Under the operation, the Indian Army has issued several directives to all its bases to insulate the force from the coronavirus.The army has set up a command-wise helpline as part of measures to deal with any possible eventualities arising out of the pandemic.
- The army has set up 28 service hospitals to deal with coronavirus cases including civilian patients. Isolation wards are being established at hospitals in formations along the border areas besides launching communication campaigns for the soldiers and officials.
India-Japan sign Rs 15,295 crores rail project
- On March 27, 2020, the JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency), a funding agency of the Japanese Government signed an agreement with GoI for 3 mega rail infrastructure projects. The project cost has been estimated as Rs 15,295 crores.
- According to the agreements, Rs 8,553 crores have been granted by the JICA for phase I of the Dedicated Freight Corridors to be constructed in India.
- Also, JICA has granted Rs 4,262 crores for the Mumbai-Trans Harbour link project. Around Rs 2,480 crores have been granted for the Mumbai Metro Line Project.
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