Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 05 2020
1. EPFO lowers interest rate on deposits to 8.5 pc for 2019-20
Retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organization, (EPFO) today lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.5 per cent for the current financial year.
Earlier it was 8.65 percent. Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar made this announcement in New Delhi after the meeting of the EPFO apex decision making body – the Central Board of Trustee.
2. Delhi announced as next Google Cloud Region after Mumbai
Google announced that it will open its next cloud region of India at Delhi by 2021. This is the second cloud region of Google after Mumbai, that was launched in 2017. Google owns 22 cloud regions in Asia Pacific.
Along with Delhi Cloud Region, Google will also open its data centers in Toronto (Canada), Melbourne (Australia) and Doha (Qatar).
3. Cabinet Approval: Mega Consolidation of Public Sector Banks
The Union Cabinet chaired by Narendra Modi had approved mega consolidation of 10 Public Sector Banks. The mega merger is to come into effect from April 1, 2020. It includes amalgamation of United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of India into Punjab National Bank. Also, amalgamation of Syndicate Bank into Canara Bank.
4. Cabinet Approval: Foreign Direct Investment Policy on Civil Aviation
The Union Cabinet under PM Modi cleared the Foreign Direct Investment Policy on Civil Aviation. According to the policy, 100% FDI is permitted in the air transport services. Earlier only 49% was available for sale to NRIs.
5. Luxembourg: The First Country in the World to provide Free Public Transport
Luxembourg in Europe has become the first country to make all forms of public transport free. It is the second smallest country in the European Union. Around 0.2 million passengers travel to Luxembourg from its neighbouring countries such as Belgium, France and Germany for work. Also, it has the highest car density in European Union.
6. March 4: National Security Day
The Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas or National Security Day was celebrated throughout India. The Day is celebrated to honour the work of Indian Security Forces. This includes every security personnel, policemen, para military forces, guards, commandos, army officers, etc.
7. Global Coalition for Biodiversity launched on World Wildlife Day
On the sidelines of the World Wildlife Day celebrations, Global Coalition for Biodiversity was launched. The initiative was launched by the European commission. The coalition was named “United for Biodiversity”.
The Coalition has called the institutions all over the world to join before the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China. The Convention is to be held in China in October 2020.
8. Mumbai to host 2023 IOC session
Mumbai will be hosting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session in 2023. The announcement was passed by IOC president Thomas Bach. The committee chose India to encourage and support the National Olympic Committee of India and all the National Federations to promote and strengthen Olympic sport in the country. The decision by IOC committee is yet to be ratified at the 136th IOC session in Tokyo in July 2020.
9. Workshop on Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Industries held in New Delhi
Workshop on “Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Industries” was inaugurated by the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (WR, RD & GR) U.P. Singh. The workshop was organized by the National Water Mission (NWM) in Delhi as a part of the “HarKaamDeshkeNaam” initiative.
10. Janaushadhi week is celebrated from 1-7 March
Janaushadhi week is celebrated in India from 1-7 March 2020. During this occasion, various activities like health checkup Camp, Jan Aushadhi Paricharcha, Jan Aushadhi ka sath are being undertaken.
11. Scientists found bacteria that can replace fertilizers, fungicides in tea plants
Researchers at the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) Guwahati found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera, Eurya.
12. India Pharma 2020 and India Medical Device 2020 Conference to be held in Gujarat
India Pharma 2020 & India Medical Device 2020 Conference & Exhibition has been scheduled to be held at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat from 5-7 March 2020. The conference will be inaugurated by the Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister Shri Sadananda Gowda. The fifth edition is organized for the first time in Gujarat.
13. Sri Lanka to lead BIMSTEC’s Science, Technology and Innovation sector
Sri Lanka agreed to a plan for a Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) facility for technology transfer within the country while also deciding to appoint a Director to the BIMSTEC Secretariat in June this year, during the finalisation of areas of cooperation among BIMSTEC member states, at the 20th Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SoM), chaired by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha on 3 March.
14. Microsoft, Accenture team up to help entrepreneurs amplify
Microsoft Corp. and Accenture said on Wednesday that they were teaming up to help deepen the reach of entrepreneurs and start-ups that are focused on social impact and sustainability. The joint initiative will provide hands-on support and technologies to social enterprises, helping them build scalable solutions and business models that can lead to more tangible and lasting benefits for a greater number of people around the world, the two companies said.
15. IWD 2020: Thinlas Chorol sets up first women’s travel company in Ladakh
The International Women’s Day will be celebrated on 8th of this month. Government has taken series of initiatives to empower women. People are using the #IWD 2020 and #BetiPadhaoDeshBadhao to share uplifting stories in the run up to International Women’s Day.
In Ladakh, a young woman Thinlas Chorol has introduced woman trekking guide in the male dominated trekking industry. To train the other women as trekking guide , she setup the first women’s travel company fully operated by women only. Every trekking season from April to September, she train 20 to 30 rural women to work as trekking guide.
16. Sunil Joshi named selection committee chairman, Harvinder Singh too added to panel
Former India spinner Sunil Joshi was on Wednesday named chairman of the national selection panel by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which also picked ex-pacer Harvinder Singh in the five-member group.
17 SBI Life re-appoints Sanjeev Nautiyal as MD & CEO
SBI Life Insurance on March 4 said it has re-appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal as managing director and chief executive officer of the company. The Board of Directors of SBI Life Insurance Company Limited at their meeting held on March 4, 2020 has approved the re-appointment of Sanjeev Nautiyal as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of the company with effect from March 10, 2020, it said in a regulatory filing.
18. Former U.N. Chief and Peruvian Diplomat Javier Pérez de Cuellar Dies at Age 100
Javier Pérez de Cuellar, the two-term United Nations secretary-general who brokered a historic cease-fire between Iran and Iraq in 1988 and who in later life came out of retirement to help re-establish democracy in his Peruvian homeland, died Wednesday, Peru’s foreign ministry said. He was 100.
19. Asian badminton meet moved from Wuhan to Manila
The Asian Badminton Championships slated to take place in Wuhan from April 21-26 has been relocated to Manila. The decision to move the tournament away from the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak which is now rocking the world, was confirmed by Badminton Asia yesterday.