Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 21 2019
1. Exim Bank extends $800 mn credit to Maldives for developmental projects
The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) said it will provide USD 800 million (about ₹ 5,500 crore) credit to Maldives to finance developmental projects. Exim Bank has extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 800 million to Maldives for financing developmental projects, Exim Bank said in a release.
An agreement for the LoC was signed between Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and Exim Bank Chief General Manager Sudatta Mandal. The LoC agreement was exchanged during the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Maldives.
2. J&K teen Irfan Ramzan Sheikh gets Shaurya Chakra
Jammu & Kashmir teenager Irfan Ramzan Sheikh was bestowed with the Shaurya Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind for foiling an attack by three militants on his house in 2017. Irfan was 14 years old then.
On October 16, 2017, three militants arrived at Irfan’s door. They wanted to kill his father Ramzan Sheikh. Showing bravery, the 14-year-old didn’t allow them to enter his house.
Despite the danger, Irfan fought with the militants in which one of them was shot dead. His father was also severely injured.
Irfan chased them away. The militants were so terrified that they left the other terrorist’s body and ran away.
3. SAIL launches smart garbage bins made of steel
Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has launched ‘smart garbage bins’ made of stainless steel. These smart garbage bins will be able to send a signal to the garbage collection vehicle about the ‘fill-up’ position of the bin, aiding better cleaning and lower human intervention.
The environment-friendly garbage bins will be made of SAIL SALEM stainless steel. These will be installed in underground Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) pits at the Smart Garbage Station. This will help prevent the spread of stink and diseases.
4. Kazakhstan renames capital ‘Nursultan’ after ex-President
Kazakhstan has renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who unexpectedly resigned .
The change was announced after Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in as president, promising to seek his predecessor’s opinion on key decisions.
Mr Nazarbayev, 78, served nearly 30 years as leader of the oil-rich nation.
5. SpiceJet becomes first Indian low-cost airline to join IATA
SpiceJet has joined global airlines’ grouping IATA as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents more than 290 airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.
The membership allows the airline to “explore and grow its collaborations with international member airlines of IATA through interlining and code shares, enabling SpiceJet to seamlessly expand the network options for its passengers in future.
6. From Vivo to PhonePe, Aamir Khan to be the face of 3 brands
Bollywood heavyweight Aamir Khan will be the face of three brands this Indian Premier League (IPL) season. He will be seen selling the wares of Vivo, the title sponsor of the league, digital payments company PhonePe, and shoe brand Walkaroo.
Vivo appointed Khan as its brand ambassador in March 2018, while PhonePe made the announcement on 20 march 2019 , days ahead of the launch of this year’s IPL. PhonePe is also the lead on-air sponsor of the IPL, which airs on the Star India network and Hotstar.
7. Finland ranked happiest country for second year
Finland has topped a global happiness ranking for the second year in a row. It beat Nordic peers Denmark, Norway and Iceland in a ranking of 156 countries by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The ranking saw the US drop one place, to 19th, while people in South Sudan were the least happy. India dropped seven ranks to the 140th place.
The results are based on an average of three years of surveys taken by Gallup between 2016 and 2018 and include factors such as gross domestic product, social support from friends and family, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceived corruption and recent emotions — both happy and sad.
8. March 21: World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is on March 21. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.
The global theme for 2019 is “Leave no one behind”
9. International Day of Forests 2019: March 21
International Day of Forests is celebrated on 21st March . Since being announced by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, this global day of celebration has aimed to raise awareness of the importance of all type of trees and woodland.
The theme of 2019 – “Forests and Education”.
10. World Poetry Day : March 21
World Poetry Day is a time to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world. It is held on March 21 each year and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
11. Flipkart introduces robot-based sortation technology
Flipkart has introduced a robot-based sortation technology — Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at its Soukya sortation center in Bengaluru. Designed to optimise efficiency and precision on the back-end of the supply chain, these AGVs will help Flipkart meet growing customer demand, ensuring faster delivery and a better experience for online shoppers.
The Soukya set-up involves over 100 self-guided bots that automatically sort packages to the right customer pincodes by identifying encoded information on each package. It can process up to 4,500 shipments in an hour and can be scaled over five times with minimal changes, enabling better throughput from an existing facility, removing the need for space expansion and enabling the current manpower allocated to the task to be upskilled to do higher value-adding work.