DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: March 19 & 20, 2020

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Daily Current Affairs (March 19 & 20, 2020) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.

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Important Days

Global Recycling Day 2020: March 18

  • Global Recycling Day is observed as a third annual Global Recycling Day.
  • This day was first observed on March 18, 2018, by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and celebrated globally every year to raise awareness of the importance of recycling.
  • The theme for third Global Recycling Day is “Recycling Heroes”.

International Day of Happiness

  • International Day of Happiness is observed every year on 20 March. Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated this day to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.
  • The theme of 2020 is “Happiness For All”.

World Sparrow Day

  • World Sparrow Day is celebrated across the world on 20 March to raise awareness about the conservation of sparrows. This day also celebrates the relationship between people and sparrows.
  • The theme for World Sparrow Day is “I LOVE Sparrows”.

Ordnance Factories observe their 219th foundation day

  • Ordnance Factories are observing their 219th foundation day on 18th of March. The first Ordnance Factory, now known as the Gun and Shell Factory in Kolkata was established on 1801
  • Ordnance Factories are a conglomerate of 41 ordnance factories under OFB.
  • Ordnance Factory Board Headquarters- Kolkata.

National News

Tamil Nadu tops in farm credit disbursals

  • Tamil Nadu has topped in disbursement of agriculture credit by giving away loans worth Rs 1,63,289 Cr out of a total of Rs 10,33,183 Cr distributed across India till December 31 this fiscal. 
  • Andhra Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh were 2nd & 3rd in agricultural credit disbursals.
  • Kerala, which is not a major agricultural State, came fourth.

Government to mobilise ₹51,000 Cr more via Treasury-Bills to bridge cash flow mismatch

  • To bridge a temporary cash flow mismatch, the Government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to mobilise Rs 51,000 crore more through auction of Treasury-Bills (T-Bills) during the remaining period of quarter ending March 2020.
  • Earlier estimated cost of borrowing via T-Bills- Rs 24,000 Cr.

138 distribution camps have been organised under RVY as on March 2020:

  • Department of Social Justice & Empowerment launched a scheme namely ‘Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’ on 1 April 2017 with the objective to provide the senior citizens, living BPL & suffering from any of age-related disability with such assisted living devices.

Banihal to Katra railway link to be completed by 2022:

  • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that Banihal to Katra railway link to be completed by 2022 which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
  • The Katra-Banihal railway track is a 111-km long stretch which will link Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country by train.

Indian Railways to electrify all broad gauge routes by December 2023:

  • Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal informed that Indian Railway(IR) Ministry plans to electrify all Broad Gauge(BG) routes by December 2023.
  • As a target to electrify 4,310 km of BG route in the year 2023-2024 (till December 2023), it is planned to electrify a total of 28,810 km of BG route.

Pradhan Mantri Fast Track Project: 498 ongoing Railway Projects are at different stages:

  • 498 ongoing Railway Projects including 188 New Lines, 55 Gauge Conversion & 255 Doubling Projects of total length 49,069 Km, costing Rs. 6.75 lakh Cr are in different stages of planning/sanction/execution. Rs 47,841 Cr have been included in 2020-21 Budget.
  • Piyush Goyal is the current Union Minister for Railways.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority signs MoU with SFAC:

  • To bring in better synergy in the activities, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed a MoU with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). 
  • The MoU is aimed at addressing the obstacles faced by FPOs.
  • APEDA is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Odisha’s Konark sun temple & Statue of Unity in Gujarat finds place in iconic tourism sites list:

  • According to the Union Minister of State (Independent) for tourism and culture, Prahlad Singh Patel, the central government has included grand Konark Sun Temple, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site in Odisha & Statue of Unity in Gujarat in the Iconic Tourist Sites list, taking the total number of such places from 17 to 19.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank chairs meeting on Research in Indian Traditional Knowledge Systems in Delhi:

  • Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank chaired a meeting on Research in Indian Traditional Knowledge Systems in New Delhi. Objective of the meeting was to ensure the development of the society by coordinating the ancient & modern genres of knowledge.


  • He cited the example of Yoga as an Indian Knowledge System.


More than Rs 20,000 Cr of loans sanctioned under ‘Stand Up India Scheme’ since inception:

  • Rs 20,466.94 Crores of loans have been sanctioned under ‘Stand Up India Scheme’ to over 91,000 accounts up to 10.03.2020. 
  • The scheme facilitates bank loans between Rs. 10 lakh-Rs. 1 Crores to at least one SC/ ST borrower & at least one-woman borrower.


  • Stand Up India Scheme was launched on 5th April 2016.


Defence Manufacturing Hub to be setup in Uttar Pradesh:

  • Honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his Budget Speech on 1st February 2018 had announced setting up of two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country. 
  • In pursuance to the said announcement, it has been decided to develop one such corridor in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The investment of Rs. 3700 crores were announced for this.

DAC approves procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for Indian Air Force:

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for Indian Air Force. 
  • The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about 1,300 crore rupees.
  • Chief of Indian Air Force- Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.

International News:

India conducts Joint Air Exercise with Myanmar:


  • The first ever HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) exercise between the Indian and Myanmar Air Force (MAF) culminated at Air Force station Bamrauli, Uttar Pradesh.


  • The objectives of the exercise include planning of HADR operation in each scenario, learn best practices & executing mission during HADR disasters.
  • 20-member team of IAF participated in the exercise.

India inks Rs 880 crore deal for Israeli light machine guns for frontline troops:

  • Indian Armed Forces operating under Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the Israel Weapons Industry.
  • According to the agreement, India is to procure 16, 479 LMG (Light Machine Guns) for Rs 880 crores. The LMG are used as squad automatic weapons.


  • The LMG were first used in Second World War.


India signs agreement with USA for supply of arms:

  • One contract and two Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) have been concluded with the US side for procurement of Helicopters and Self Protection Suite. Countries such as US, Russia, France, Germany, Israel, UK are leading exporters of defence equipment.
  • The delivery of the helicopters will commence from May 2021.

World Cities Summit 2020 to be held in Singapore:

  • 7th World Cities Summit (WCS) is to be held from July 5 to 9, 2020 at Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore. It is organized by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.  


  • The theme for WCS 2020 is ”Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Adapting to a Disrupted World”.


  • Singapore Government invited Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the WCS-2020.


  • President– Halimah Yacob


  • Capital– Singapore
  • Currency-Singapore dollar


Roche Diagnostics India, first private firm to get COVID-19 test approval:

  • Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India received the license for conducting coronavirus tests after approval from DCGI. It became the 1st private firm to get such permission after the govt. decided to allow accredited private labs to test for COVID-19.


  • Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)-V. G. Somani.


WhatsApp donates $1 million to IFCN for coronavirus facts alliance:

  • WhatsApp announced the global launch of the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNDP, besides a $1 million donation to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
  • Director of IFCN- Baybars Orsek.

Banking and Finance

RBI receives Rs 27,096 Crore bids in 5th LTRO:

  • RBI has received Rs 27,096 Crore worth of bids in the fifth long-term repo operations conducted for an amount of Rs 25,000 Crore with a tenure of 3 years under Operation Twist.

RBI opens dollar-swap window along with infusion of Rs 1,00,000 crore through LTRO:

  • RBI opens dollar-swap window-StartThere is global instability in financial markets due to the spread of COVID 19 (Coronavirus), which may lead to a slowdown in growth.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opened a six-month dollar sell-buy swap window, and will also inject Rs 1,00,000 crore additional Long Term Repo Operations (LTROs) at the policy repo rate.

RBI to infuse ₹10,000 crore via OMO to maintain liquidity in banking system:

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is all set to infuse ₹10,000 crore liquidity in the banking system by buying government securities through Open Market Operations (OMO) on March 20, 2020. 


  • The securities will be purchased through a multi-security auction using the multiple price method with tenor between two and five years. RBI will offer to buy four set of sovereign papers maturing between February 2022 and May 2025.


RBI issued new guidelines for payment aggregators; MCR reduced for new PAs to Rs 15 crore from Rs 100 crore

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued new guidelines for the Payment Aggregators (PAs) to provide ease for payments industry players. 
  • These are issued under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 and shall come into effect from April 1, 2020. The new rules are for non-bank PAs.
  • RBI has reduced the Minimum Capital Requirements (MCR) for PAs at the time of application for the licence to Rs 15 crore from Rs 100 crore. However, the net worth needs to be increased to Rs 25 crore within three years of operations. 

RBI extended authorisation to Vakrangee Ltd for white label ATMs till Mar 31, 2020:

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the validity of Authorization to Vakrangee Limited till March 31, 2021 to setup, own and operates the White Label ATMs (WLA) Business in India.
  • ATM set up, owned and operated by non-bank entities are called “White Label ATMs” (WLAs). They provide the banking services to the customers of Indian banks based on the cards issued by banks. WLA operators are authorised under the Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007 RBI.

ICICI Bank launches ‘ICICIStack’, a digital banking platform:

  • ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank announced the launch of ‘ICICIStack’, a set of the country’s most comprehensive digital banking services and APIs (Application Programme Interface) to ensure uninterrupted banking experience to customers–retail and business.

SBI acquired 6.825% stake of Zero Mass Private Limited:

  • SBI has entered into an agreement to acquire 6.825% stake in Zero Mass. As part of the deal, the Bank has sold its entire stake in A Little World to the Zero Mass. 
  • ZERO Mass Pvt. Ltd. was founded by Anurag Gupta, Founder and Director on 20 March 2007.

State Bank of India:

  • Headquarters– Mumbai, India
  • Chairman– Rajnish Kumar 

DBS Bank India ties up with Bharti AXA to roll out insurance plan covering COVID-19

  • DBS Bank India Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of  DBS (Development Bank of Singapore) Bank Ltd, has entered into the partnership with Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Ltd to launch a complimentary insurance for customers of DBS treasures.

Science and Technology

STMicroelectronics, Aligarh University tie up to develop wireless chargers for EV:

  • STMicroelectronics has tied up with Aligarh Muslim University of Uttar Pradesh, to jointly develop technology for solar-powered, wireless charging stations in India. 
  • Both STMicroelectronics and AMU will bring parts of their home-grown technologies to the projects.
  • STMicroelectronics is a French multinational company.

L&T Technology Services and IIT-Kanpur sign MoU for research in Cybersecurity programs:

  • L&T Technology Services Limited, a pure-play engineering services company, signed a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur to collaborate on research in industrial and infrastructure cybersecurity.
  • They will together set-up a Center of Excellence in the campus.

Scientists from INST develops starch-based ‘hemostat’ material to stop rapid blood loss during accidents:


  • Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, developed a starch-based ‘Hemostat’ material which absorbs excess fluid by concentrating the natural clotting factors in the blood that stops the rapid blood loss.


IHBT scientists develop new sanitizer without chemicals like parabens, triclosan, and phthalates:

  • Scientists of CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT), Palampur (HP) have developed a new hand-sanitizer.
  • Natural flavors,active tea constituents & alcohol content in the hand-sanitizer have been used according to WHO guidelines.

World Health Organization(WHO):


  • Headquarters-Geneva, Switzerland



Journalists Prachi Salve & Pradeep Dwivedi selected for Road Safety Media Fellowship 2019:


  • Journalists Prachi Salve of Indiaspend & Pradeep Dwivedi of Dainik Jagran has been selected for the 1st prize in the Road Safety Media Fellowship 2019. 
  • B. Raveendra Shetty of Vijaya Karnataka along with Purnima Singh of Times Now Hindi are at 2nd place.
  • The fellowship is given by Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi.

Government nominated former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha:

  • Government nominated former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, 65 years old, to Rajya Sabha. 
  • He was nominated by President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind, under the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution of India
  • Ranjan Gogoi will be the successor of K.T.S Tulsi.

Iraqi President Salih appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate:

  • Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country’s new prime minister-designate in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis. 
  • Al-Zurfi will replace caretaker PM- Adel Abdul Mahdi.


  • Capital– Baghdad
  • Currency– Iraqi dinar.

Former Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani appointed chairman of AP Tourism Development Corporation:

  • Andhra Pradesh government appointed former CMD of Air India Ashwani Lohani as the Chairman of the AP Tourism Development Corporation, assigning him the rank of a Cabinet minister.The appointment is for a period of one year.
  • Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy,Andhra Pradesh CM.

Salesforce names former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya as India CEO:

  • Salesforce names former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya as India CEO. She was the 1st woman to lead the more than 200-year-old SBI. 
  • Arundhati Bhattacharya submitted the resignation as an independent director from CRISIL Board.
  • She is the first woman to be the chairperson of the State Bank of India and retired in 2017. 

CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited):

  • Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • CEO– Ashu Suyash.

HSBC appoints Noel Quinn as Chief Executive Officer:

  • Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation appointed Noel Quinn as Chief Executive Officer, handing the insider & interim boss the reins of Europe’s biggest bank & ending months of conjecture an external candidate could get the role. He joined HSBC in 1987.
  • HSBC Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.

Indian umpires Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi named in International Panel of ICC Development Umpires:

  • Janani Narayanan from Tamil Nadu (TN) and Vrinda Rathi from Mumbai were named in the International Panel of ICC (International Cricket Council) Development Umpires. 
  • After the inclusion of Janani and Vrinda, the count of females from India in ICC panel becomes 3 after the appointment of GS Lakshmi as the International Panel of Match Referees.

International Cricket Council (ICC):

  • Headquarters- Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Chairman- Shashank Manohar.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Manu Sawhney.

Books and Author

‘My Encounters in Parliament’ authored by Bhalchandra Mungekar released:

  • The book titled ‘My Encounters in Parliament’ authored by Bhalchandra Mungekar an Indian economist, former member of Rajya Sabha, was released in the presence of former Vice President- Hamid Ansari CPI General Secretary D Raja & NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Nitin Gadkari presents a copy of ‘Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar’ to the President:

  • Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, presented the book ‘Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar‘ to President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the first death anniversary of Manohar Parrikar.
  • The “Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar” was authored by Tarun Vijay and released by defence minister Rajnath Singh on 16th March 2020.

Obituary News

Former world champion boxer Roger Mayweather passes away:

  • The former world champion boxer and trainer, Roger Mayweather passed away on 18th March 2020 at the age of 58 due to health-related illness. Roger Mayweather won the world champion boxer title in two weight classes.

Sports News

ATK FC create history, beat Chennaiyin to lift ISL trophy 3rd time:

  • ATK (Atlético de Kolkata) claimed an unprecedented 3rd Indian Super League title triumph with a 3-1 victory by beating Chennaiyin FC.
  • ISL is a football league in India. For sponsorship reasons, the competition is officially known as Hero Indian Super League.
  • Final held without spectators owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand all-rounder Andrew Malcolm Ellis announced retirement:

  • New Zealand(NZ) all-rounder Andrew Malcolm Ellis (37) announced his retirement from Canterbury cricket after 18 years of his career.
  • After Ross Taylor he became the 2nd player in NZ to play over 100 games in each format.
  • He is the only player to be named as Men’s Domestic Player of the Year twice by NZ

Daily Current Affairs Quiz – March 19 & 20, 2020

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