Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 26 2019
1. Rear Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, takes over as Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area
Rear Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, VSM has assumed the charge as the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area . An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Jan 1987 and is an Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist. His notable sea appointments include Executive Officer of missile corvette INS Kirpan and missile destroyer INS Mysore and command of missile corvette INS Kora, missile frigate INS Shivalik and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
2. INS Kadmatt at Langkawi, Malaysia to Participate in LIMA-19
Indian Navy’s frontline ASW corvette, INS Kadmatt arrived at Langkawi, Malaysia on a seven days official visit. The ship is scheduled to participate in the 15th edition of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, LIMA-19 during the visit. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command would also be attending various engagements as part of LIMA 19 as head of Indian Navy Delegation
INS Kadmatt (P 29) is an indigenous stealth anti-submarine warfare corvette and was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January 2016. The ship is fitted with state of the art weapons, sensors and machinery and is also designed to embark the Seaking anti-submarine helicopter.
3. President Kovind receives Croatia’s highest civilian award
President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia’s highest civilian award the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav. Kovind is in the European country as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile to further strengthen bilateral ties between India and the three countries.
The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.
4. ISRO to launch 29 satellites including EMISAT on first of April
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 29 satellites including the primary payload EMISAT, on the first of April. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C45 will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota tentatively at 9:30 AM carrying the satellites onboard.
EMISAT has been developed for monitoring radar network by India. An ISRO release says, EMISAT, weighing 436 kg, is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. It will be placed in an orbit of about 753 km altitude. The customer payloads are from Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and the US. They will be hurled into space at an altitude of about 505 km.
After all the satellites are put into orbits, the fourth stage of the rocket will be propelled to a different elevation and will be used as a platform for different experiments by Indian institutions, including ISRO.
5. Government notifies Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules 2019
Health and Family Welfare Ministry have notified the Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 with an aim to promote clinical research in the country. The new rules will change the regulatory landscape for the approval of new drugs and conduct of clinical trials in the country.
These rules will apply to all new drugs, investigational new drugs for human use, clinical trial, bioequivalence study and Ethics Committee. It has reduced the time for approving applications to 30 days for drugs manufactured in India and 90 days for those developed outside the country.
The rules stated that in case of no communication from Drugs Controller General of India, the application will be deemed to have been approved. It said the requirement of a local clinical trial may be waived for approval of a new drug if it is approved and marketed in any of the countries to be specified by the Drugs Controller General with the approval of the government.
6. Navy’s nuclear, biological, chemical training facility launched
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba inaugurated the Indian Navy’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Training Facility (NBCTF) at INS Shivaji in Lonavala . The NBCTF, christened “Abhedya”, impenetrable in Sanskrit, will help train personnel of naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection systems.
Admiral Lanba launched the INS Shivaji’s website on the Indian Navy portal. He also released the platinum jubilee logo, with the theme “Propelling the Indian Navy since 1945”, for the premier technical training establishment.
7. Vice President to attend 16th Convocation of IGIDR in Mumbai today
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will attend the 16th Convocation of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai today.
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai is an autonomous advanced research institution established by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 1987, on its golden jubilee.
The Institute focuses on research on developmental issues from a multi-disciplinary point of view. The Governor of RBI is also the chairman of this institute.
8. President Kovind reaches Zagreb
President Ram Nath Kovind has reached the Croatian capital Zagreb on the first leg of his three-nation tour to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile.
9. IAF inducts first four heavy-lift Chinook helicopters
Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted the four heavy-lift Chinook helicopters. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa announced the induction at a ceremony held at Air Force base in Chandigarh. Chinook helicopters will be deployed at Chandigarh’s Air Force Station 12 Wing.
these helicopters are capable of vertical lift and heavy lifting in hilly areas. He said that vertical lift capability across a diversified terrain was required as India faces multiple security challenges.
The Chinook helicopter has fully integrated digital cockpit management system and is capable of transporting fully-equipped infantry soldiers for specialised operations.
10. RBI appoints five-member committee to deepen digital payments
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the central bank of the country has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to further deepen digital payments and enhance financial inclusion through Fintech. He said, the RBI has requested the committee to give recommendations in 3 months in this regard.
The objective of the conclave is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.
11. Indian-Sri Lankan armies to conduct military exercise Mitra Shakti from today
The joint training exercise MITRASHAKTI – VI between Indian and Sri Lanka Army is being held from today at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka. An Indian contingent of 120 Army personnel, including 11 officers arrived last evening to take part in the two-week long exercise. The exercise is an annual event held in India and Sri Lanka alternatively.
MITRASHAKTI is one of the largest bilateral armies to army exercises conducted in the region. Based on the success of previous exercises, it has been recently upgraded from a platoon level engagement to a full Company level engagement.
12. ADNOC awards onshore block to Indian consortium
A consortium of two Indian oil companies, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited have been awarded the exploration rights for Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, signed agreements awarding the exploration rights.
The award has been endorsed by Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council. In an exclusive interaction with AIR Ambassador Navdeep Suri said that the bilateral partnership between India and UAE is growing in many dimensions.
13. RBI slaps Rs 2 crore penalty on PNB
The Reserve Bank of India has slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations.
SWIFT is a global messaging software used for sharing information on inter-bank transactions by financial entities.
14. Sri Lanka to launch Smart City concept
A Sri Lankan telecom official said that plans were underway to transform Polonnaruwa district into the country’s first “Smart City” following several projects launched to upgrade education, health and transportation.
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena told the media that the government was discussing the transformation of Polonnaruwa by launching the smart health, smart education, and smart transportation concept, which will accelerate economic development and social progress in the district, reports Xinhua news agency.
Under the government’s Smart City project, 2,500 schools will be connected through a wireless connection to enable smart education in Sri Lanka.
15. Nikki Bella announces retirement from WWE
Actress-wrestler Nikki Bella has announced her retirement from the WWE. On the show “Total Bellas”, Bella announced her decision saying she wanted to explore some new arena in her life.
Bella made her WWE debut back in 2007, her SmackDown debut with her twin sister, Brie Bella was in 2008, and has won the Divas Championship twice.
16. India, China, US see 70% rise in energy demand: IEA
China, the US and India together accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the rise in energy demand, even as such demand worldwide grew by 2.3 per cent last year, at its fastest pace this decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said .
This exceptional rise in energy demand was driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions.
These findings are part of the IEA’s latest assessment of global energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for 2018.
17. Noted folk artist passes away
Noted folk artist, music director and writer Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi died at Houston in the U.S. at the age of 99. A recipient of Kala Prapoorna award, she got her first gramophone record at the age of 8 years.
18. Axis Bank opens 4,000th branch
Private sector lender Axis Bank opened its 4,000th branch at EON, Kharadi, in Pune. The new branch was inaugurated by Amitabh Chaudhry, Managing Director and CEO, Axis Bank, and Ravi Narayanan, President and Head Branch Banking, Axis Bank.
“The initiative is in line with the government’s vision of providing banking services within 5 km for every Indian citizen. The bank has added 297 branches in the current fiscal across India,” the lender said in a statement.
19. Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins $1m global award
A science teacher from rural Kenya who donates most of his salary to help poorer students has been crowned the world’s best teacher and awarded a $1m prize, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.
Peter Tabichi, 36, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, has won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.
20. Apple partners with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for Apple Card
Tech giant Apple is known for its hardware devices like the iPhone, MacBooks, iPods, Watch and software services like iOS, MacOS, Apple Music, Apple Pay, etc. At the ‘It’s Show Time’ event held at the Steve Job’s Theatre, Apple announced a new credit card called the Apple Card.
Apple card is a virtual credit card that can be integrated into the Wallet app of the iPhone. The company has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for payment handling and processing. The idea behind the launch of this new service is to replace the traditional credit card with a new, smarter and secure payment method across online and offline stores.