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Current Affairs 21 March 2020
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath Submits Resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has submitted his resignation to state governor Lalji Tandon on 20 March 2020.
- His decision came after the Supreme Court ordered the Congress government led by Kamal Nath to prove majority in Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
- The SC order followed the resignations of 22 MLAs on 19 March 2020, after which Congress fell short of majority in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
- These MLAs resigned in support of former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress to join the BJP earlier this month.
Railway Ministry to Electrify all 28,810 km Broad Gauge (BG) Routes by December 2023
- Piyush Goyal-led Ministry of Railways has planned to electrify all the remaining 28,810 km of Broad Gauge (BG) Routes of Indian Railways by December 2023.
- The proposed electrification of BG Routes will be done in the following manner:
- 2019-20 – 6,000 km of broad gauge route has been planned to be electrified
- 2020-21 – 6,000 km
- 2021-22 – 6,000 km
- 2022-23 – 6,500 km
- 2023-24 (upto Dec-23) – 4,310 km
- Apart from this, the Railway Ministry has also planned to source around 1000 megawatt (MW) of solar power as part of its solar mission and around 200 MWt of wind power based on the techno-commercial assessment.
Government Approves Setting Up of National Technical Textile Mission for 4 Years
- The government has approved the proposal for creation of National Technical Textiles Mission for a period of 4 years from 2020-21 to 2023-24.
- The total outlay of the mission has been estimated at Rs.1480 crores.
- The focus of the Mission for holistic development of entire technical textile sector on pan-India basis in various flagship missions and programmes of the country.
WhatsApp Launches Coronavirus Info Hub; Announces USD 1 Million Grant to IFCN For Checking Fake News On COVID-19 Pandemic
- The Facebook-owned popular messaging app WhatsApp has launched two initiatives in order to contribute to the cause of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- Firstly, WhatsApp has launched a ‘Coronavirus Information Hub’ in partnership with International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- The information hub can be accessed at whatsapp.com/coronavirus which would provide guidelines on how to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Secondly, WhatsApp has announced to donate $1 million to International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to support fact-checking about COVID-19 on WhatsApp to avoid the spread of misinformation about the disease among the users.
DBS Bank India Partners with Bharti AXA to roll out COVID-19 insurance cover
- The DBS Bank India has tied-up with Bharti AXA to roll out a complimentary insurance plan covering all medical conditions, including Covid-19, to support its customers amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
- The plan would cover all medical conditions, including Covid-19 and up to 10 days of hospitalisation, with a cover of Rs 5,000 per day for a 30-day period.
- Additionally, to ensure further safety of its customers, the bank will add an anti-microbial coating across all its ATMs and biometric devices.
Finance Commission Constitutes Committee under NK Singh To Review Fiscal Consolidation Roadmap Of General Government
- The 15th Finance Commission (FC) has constituted a committee, to be headed by NK Singh, Chairman of the FC, to prescribe a new debt and fiscal consolidation road map for the general government for a period of five years beginning 01 April 2021.
- The general government consists of central, state and local governments and the social security funds controlled by them.
Fitch Projects India’s GDP growth at 5.1% for FY’21; 6.4% for FY’22
- Fitch Ratings has cut India growth forecast for the financial year 2020-2021 to 5.1 percent from earlier prediction of 5.6%, in its latest Global Economic Outlook 2020, released on 20 March 2020.
- The downgrade is a result of coronavirus outbreak which is likely to hit investment and exports.
- For 2021-22, India’s growth is projected to be 6.4 percent.
India’s Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi Inducted in International Panel of ICC Development Umpires
- Two Indian women umpires, Janani Narayanan (Tamil Nadu) and Vrinda Rathi (Mumbai) have been named in the International Panel of ICC Development Umpires.
- With this, the total number of women match officials across different International Cricket Council (ICC) panels has gone up to 12.
- Narayanan (34) and Rathi (31), has been umpiring in Indian domestic tournaments since 2018.
- The induction of more women officials in the panel will help improve women’s cricket and take it in the forward direction.
- Other women match officials across different ICC Panels include:
- GS Lakshmi, Shandre Fritz (International Panel Match Referees); Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra, Claire Polosak, Sue Redfern, Eloise Sheridan, Mary Waldron, Jacquline Williams (all International Panel of ICC Development Umpires).
New Zealand All-rounder Andrew Ellis Announces Retirement from all Forms of Cricket
- New Zealand all-rounder Andrew Malcolm Ellis has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, ending his 18-years long career.
- Andrew Ellis started his domestic cricket career in 2002.
- He has played 20 international matches for the Kiwi team, which includes 15 ODIs and five T20Is.
- He is the second New Zealand cricketer to play 100 or more matches in each format of the game.
UN French Language Day: 20 March
- The UN French Language Day is observed annually on 20 March.
- The day was established by UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010, to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.
- March 20 was chosen as the date for the French language since it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie, representing countries and regions where French is a customary language.
International Day of Forests: 21 March
- The International Day of Forests (also known as World Forestry Day) is celebrated every year on March 21 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations.
- The theme for International Day of Forests 2020 is ‘Forests and Biodiversity’.
- This day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012.
World Down Syndrome Day: 21 March
- The World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is marked on 21 March each year since 2006, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.
- The Theme of 2020 World Down Syndrome Day is focuses “We Deside”.
- 21st day of March (the 3rd month of the year) has been selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
World Poetry Day: 21 March
- The World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March every year to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.
- The day was declared by the UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: 21 March
- The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March.
- The day aims to remind people of racial discrimination’s negative consequences and encourage people to remember their obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination.
Legendary Indian Footballer PK Banerjee Passes Away at 83
- India’s Football legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee has passed away after battling prolonged illness. He was 83.
- He won the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 1992.
- Banerjee has scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.
- He was the recipients of some of the most prestigious awards including Arjuna Award in 1961, Padma Shri in 1990 and FIFA Order of Merit in 2004.
Quick Revision – Current Affairs 21 March 2020
1. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath Submits Resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon
2. Railway Ministry to Electrify all 28,810 km Broad Gauge (BG) Routes by December 2023
3. Government Approves Setting Up of National Technical Textile Mission for 4 Years
4. WhatsApp Launches Coronavirus Info Hub; Announces USD 1 Million Grant to IFCN For Checking Fake News On COVID-19 Pandemic
5. DBS Bank India Partners with Bharti AXA to roll out COVID-19 insurance cover
6. Finance Commission Constitutes Committee under NK Singh To Review Fiscal Consolidation Roadmap Of General Government
7. Fitch Projects India’s GDP growth at 5.1% for FY’21; 6.4% for FY’22
8. India’s Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi Inducted in International Panel of ICC Development Umpires
9. New Zealand All-rounder Andrew Ellis Announces Retirement from all Forms of Cricket
10. UN French Language Day: 20 March
11. International Day of Forests: 21 March
12. World Down Syndrome Day: 21 March
13. World Poetry Day: 21 March
14. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: 21 March
15. Legendary Indian Footballer PK Banerjee Passes Away at 83