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Current Affairs 16th March 2020

1. GST rates on mobile phones to increase to 18% from 1st of April
  • Council also decided to slash GST on maintenance, repair and overhaul services for aircraft to 5% from 12% & handmade & machine-made matchsticks to 12%.
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman Chaired the GST Council meet.
2. R K Singh launched new website of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
  • Minister of State (I/C) for Power & New & Renewable Energy & Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship = R K Singh
  • Launched the new website of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
  • Structured back end CMS is developed to manage the website.
  • CMS- Content Management System.
3. Keeping pace with vision of “Digital India”, HIL India Limited launched Customer Payment Portal
  • In association with Union Bank of India
  • To collect the payment from its customers through various online modes
  • For faster and smoother collection of dues.
  • HIL is a CPSE under the Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers.
4. Govt brings masks and hand sanitizers under the Essential Commodities Act
  • Up to 30 June 2020 by amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • It has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act.
  • Under the L.M. Act, States can ensure sale of items at MRP.
5. NMCG concludes “Ganga Amantran Abhiyan” in New Delhi
  • NMCG = National Mission for Clean Ganga.
  • Organised a grand event in the national capital.
  • To mark the conclusion of its flagship programme ‘Ganga Amantran Abhiyan’.
  • Union Minister for Jal Shakti : Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
6. Rs 1.83 Lakh Cr spent on MNREGA in 2017-2020: Govt
  • MGNREGA = Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
  • Expenditure under MNREGA almost doubled as compared to 2011-12 to 2013-14 period,
  • The Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said.
  • MNREGA provides at least 100 days of wage employment in a year.
  • Total number of districts covered under MNREGA is 691.
7. HAL inks pact with Blue Ray Aviation for supply of two Dornier Do-228 multi-role aircraft
  • Blue Ray Aviation- Flight Training Organisation in Ahmedabad.
  • Blue Ray Aviation Pvt Limited has signed a MoU with Transport Aircraft Division, a division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,
  • For deployment of two HAL made Dornier Do-228 aircraft.
  • Dornier Do-228 aircraft is a 19-seater multi-role utility aircraft for various applications.
8. Yes Bank AT1 bonds worth Rs 8,415 crore to be reduced to zero
  • Yes Bank’s AT1 bonds worth Rs 8,415 Cr will be written down to zero.
  • As per the globally accepted Basel-III norms.
  • That mandate writing down of such bonds in the wake of an emergency.
  • SBI will have to at least keep a 26% stake in the bank for 3 years.
  • RBI had placed Yes Bank under a moratorium on 5 March.
9. Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft board to focus on philanthropy
  • Stepped down from Microsoft’s board- company.
  • He co-founded in 1975 & built into the world’s largest software maker, to devote more time to philanthropy.
  • He served as CEO of Microsoft until 2000. Current CEO is Satya Nadella.
  • His departure reduced the number of Microsoft directors to 12.
10. Iran seeks Financial Help from IMF first time since 1962 to fight against Corona Virus
  • RFI provides rapid financial assistance, which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need.
  • RFI- Rapid Financial Instrument.
11. March 15: World Consumer Rights Day
  • World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on the 15 March annually
  • To raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs.
  • Last year, the Centre has enacted the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 replacing the old 1986 Act to protect the interest of consumers.
  • Theme: The Sustainable Consumer.
12. Census India-2021 to be conducted in two phases
  • The 1st phase will begin from the 1 April & will continue until the 30 September.
  • The 2nd phase is Population Enumeration which will be conducted from 9 February- 28 February 2021 throughout the country.
  • First synchronous census in India was held in 1881.
13. Centre established a new In vivo Evaluation facility at SCTIMST
  • SCTIMST = Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum.
  • The facility will test medical devices on animals.
  • It was inaugurated by Dr. V.K. Saraswath, President of SCTIMST.
  • It has the capacity to host 40 adult pigs & 70 adult sheep.
14. YES Bank’s new management: Prashant Kumar appointed MD, CEO; Sunil Mehta Non-Executive Chairman
  • Sunil Mehta = Former chairman of the Punjab National Bank.

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