DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: March 16 & 17, 2020

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Govt introduces Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020 in Lok Sabha. )

  • The government today introduced the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Lok Sabha. 
  • Introducing the Bill, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said that the proposed Bill will help in doing ethical and honest business in the country.

High level meeting of GoM held for management of COVID-19

  • A high level meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held under the chairpersonship of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi
  • Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey attended the meeting.  
  • The GoM had detailed deliberation on prevention and management of COVID-19.
  • In its additional Travel Advisory, Government has further tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from high-risk areas. 
  • Expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait

Health Ministry issues toll-free number 1075 for queries on Covid-19; confirmed cases rise to 114 in India

  • The Health Ministry has issued a toll-free number 1075 for the public for inquiry about coronavirus. 
  • In the briefing, Rubina Ali, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Anil Malik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and Raman R, Head Scientist, ICMR were also present.
  • The total confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country rose to 114 with four new cases from Kerala, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.  

Union Govt implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan to address problem of malnutrition across the country

  • Union Government is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan across the country to address the problem of malnutrition
  • The programme was launched on 8th March in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu.
  • The Abhiyaan aims to reduce malnutrition in the country in a phased manner through a life cycle approach.
  • Its goal is to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce low birth weight.

PM Modi proposed the creation of COVID 19 emergency fund; SAARC: India offers the US $10 million

  • India pledged $10 million toward a Covid-19 emergency fund and said it was putting together a rapid response team of doctors and specialists for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations as part of an initiative led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Modi made the announcements during a video-conference with Saarc leaders that he had proposed amid rising cases of the disease in the region. 
  • While India’s offer was welcomed by all Saarc leaders, Pakistan used the occ asion to raise the Kashmir issue, saying the lockdown there should be ended to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. Islamabad also sought to get China involved in the Saarc initiative.

Manipur CM announces scheme for welfare of sportspersons and artists

  • Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has announced the biggest ever scheme for the welfare of sportspersons and artists of the State
  • The announcement was made during third-anniversary celebrations of the BJP led government in Manipur at Imphal.

Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurates ROPAX Service from BhauchaDhakka to Mandwa in Maharashtra

  • Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) inaugurated ROPAX service from Bhaucha Dhakka, Mumbai to Mandwa, Alibag in Maharashtra. Shri Mandaviya visited ROPAX terminal and inspected the facilities created for the passengers. 
  • Shri Mandaviya reiterated the importance of Waterways as a mode of transportation and said that it has opened new avenues for the people to travel with reduced journey time and it will prove as a catalyst for the local economy.
  • ROPAX service is a ‘Water Transport Service Project’, under Eastern Waterfront Development. The benefits of this service include reduction in the travel time, vehicular emission and traffic on the road. 
  • The road distance from Mumbai to Mandwa is about 110 kilometres, and gruelling road journey takes three to four hours, whereas by waterway it is about 18 kilometre and journey of just an hour.
  • Currently, about 15 lakh passengers commute annually by catamarans and launches from Gateway of India to Mandwa. There is an exponential increase in the number of tourists and commuters in this stretch. Mumbai Port Trust and Maharashtra Maritime Board recognised the importance of this waterway, and with Government support decided to start ROPAX service from Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf), i.e. Mumbai to Mandwa.  Mumbai Port Trust has developed ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf) at the cost of Rs 31 Crores
  • Maharashtra Maritime Board has developed Breakwater, ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Mandwa at the cost of Rs 135 Crores.


US Africa Command cancels annual military exercise African Lion

  • The annual African Lion military exercise became the latest casualty of the global novel coronavirus pandemic with this year’s event being canceled. 
  • The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said that, the decision to cancel the exercise was made based on international travel restrictions associated with the novel coronavirus and to minimize the risk of exposure to US and partner nation service members.
  • African Lion had been scheduled to take place from March 23 to April 4 in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal, with nearly 4,000 US service members and about 5,000 troops from Morocco. But yesterday, the command called off the entire event and began planning for next year’s African Lion 21.

India to provide 107.01 million Nepali Rupees for three new school buildings in Nepal 

  • The Government of India will provide 107.01 million Nepali Rupees for three new school buildings in Nepal. 
  • The schools will be constructed in Darchula, Dhanusha and Kapilvastu districts. 
  • The Embassy of India and Nepal’s Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Mahakali Municipality, Darchula and Mukhiyapatti Musharniya Rural Municipality, Dhanusha in Kathmandu today for the construction of two new school buildings. 
  • These schools will be built under the India-Nepal Development Partnership program at a total estimated cost of 73.96 million Nepali Rupees. The new infrastructure will be used by Shree Malikarjun Higher Secondary School at Dhap in Darchula district and Baidyanath Devnarayan Public Higher Secondary School at Tulsiyahi in Dhanusha district. 

Japan not to declare an emergency, Tokyo Olympics to be held as planned

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today pledged that Tokyo Olympics will be held in July as planned. 
  • The Japanese Parliament had approved a legislation yesterday that gives him the power to declare a State of Emergency to combat COVID-19. 


ECI appoints Hirdesh Kumar new Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir

  • The Election Commission of India appointed Hirdesh Kumar as the new Chief Electoral Officer of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • He will replace Shailendra Kumar with effect from the date he assumes charge.  
  • Hridesh Kumar, a 1999 batch IAS officer is presently serving as Commissioner Secretary in the School Education Department of J&K.


Chameli Devi Jain Award 2019 for outstanding Women media persons


  • The 2019 Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Mediaperson for the year has been awarded to independent journalist Rohini Mohan and The Wire‘s senior editor Arfa Khanum Sherwani.



YES Bank to resume full banking service from March 18

  • YES Bank today said that it will resume its full banking services from 6 P.M. on March 18
  • The bank said, in a tweet, that customers can visit any of its over 1,132 branches from Thursday during banking hours. 
  • The customers will also be able to access all its digital services and platforms.

India’s forex reserves rise 5.69 bn to 487.23 bn

  • India’s foreign exchange swelled by 5.69 billion US dollars to reach an all-time high of 487.23 billion dollars in the week ended 6th March 2020. 
  • An RBI release said, foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves rose by 5.311 billion dollars to 451.135 billion dollars. 
  • In the previous week, the reserves had surged by 5.419 billion dollars to 481.540 billion dollars. Gold reserves also increased by 320 million dollars to 31 billion dollars. 
  • India’s special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund went up by 15 million dollars to 1.447 billion dollars, while the country’s reserve position also increased by 50 million dollars to 3.656 billion dollars. 

Flipkart teamed up with Aegon life insurance to sell quick-access life insurance policies

  • E-commerce marketplace Flipkart and Aegon Life Insurance joined hands to sell comprehensive insurance solutions for customers looking for instant digital policies with a sum assured of up to Rs 10 lakh.
  • Life insurance policies with sums assured from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakhs and premiums under the range of Rs. 129 to Rs. 1 lakh sum insured will be available at the online shopping platform, the company said.

RBI Governor Shakitikanta Das says swift action has been taken for the restructuring of Yes Bank

  • Reserve Bank of India Governor Shakitikanta Das said that SWIFT action has been taken by the RBI in coordination with  Govt of India for the restructuring of Yes Bank.
  • Mr Das called for an emergency press meet in RBI headquarters in Mumbai to address two important issues including the Yes Bank restructuring plan and fall out of Corona and its impact on the Indian economy.

Parliamentary panel reports annual post-harvest losses of Rs 61,000 crore in fisheries


  • A parliamentary panel has observed that Fisheries Sector suffers from very high Post-harvest losses. 
  • It says that for Marine Fisheries the losses stand at 15,000 crore rupees and combined losses for both Marine and Inland Fisheries, the losses stand at 61 thousand crore rupees.


39th GST Council meet on ‘Know your Supplier’; GST on mobile phones hiked to 18%


  • The 39th GST Council headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took a bevy of decisions on Saturday, including raising GST on mobile phones, specified parts to 18% from the existing 12%.
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handmade, machine-made matchsticks has been rationalised to 12% while GST on MRO (maintenance repair overhaul) services of aircraft slashed to 5% from 18%. All rate related changes will come into effect on 1 April.



Achanta Sharath Kamal clinches men’s singles title of Oman Open

  • Ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal wins the ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open. 
  • The 37-year-old Indian veteran beat top-seeded Marcos Freitas of Portugal 4-2 in the final played in Muscat.

Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying clinches her third women’s singles title of All England Championships

  • In Badminton, Taiwan’s shuttler Tai Tzu Ying clinched her third women’s singles title of the All England Championships at Birmingham in United Kingdom.
  • Ying beat China’s Chen Yufei in two straight games 21-19, 21-15 in 44 minutes.

Cricket Australia planning to host men’s T20 World Cup as per schedule

  • Cricket Australia is planning to host the men’s T20 World Cup as per schedule in October despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing a collapse of sports events worldwide
  • The novel coronavirus outbreak has shredded sports calendars worldwide, including international and domestic cricket.
  • The men’s T20 World Cup is slated to begin with the pre-qualifiers from October 18-23 followed by the main 12-team competition from October 24.
  • The final will be played on November 15 at the MCG and Cricket Australia is planning for a full house.


Veteran journalist Patil Puttappa dies at 99

  • Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha member Patil Puttappa passed away due to age-related ailments at a hospital in Karnataka’s Hubballi. He was 99.

Sahitya Akademi awardee, Malayalam poet Puthussery Ramachandran passed away


  • Dr Puthussery Ramachandran a Veteran Malayalam poet, a scholar of Dravidian linguistics and a teacher passed away due to age-related illness at the age of 91 years. 


Daily Current Affairs Quiz – March 14 , 15 , 16 & 17, 2020

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