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Weekly Current Affairs Update: 18 March 2019-23 March 2019


1. Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar has passed away: True Indian patriot has lost

  • Manohar Parrikar was a former defence minister and has played an important role in Uri-Surgical strike. He was chief minister of Goa and has demolished the corruption from the state and always worked for the betterment of the country.
  • Mr. Parrikar was suffering from a severe chronic disease and fighting against it since past few months. He passed away on 17th March 2019 at the age of 63.

a. Key facts

  • He was last seen in public at Atal Booth Karyakarta Sammelan earlier in February when BJP chief Amit Shah came to address the party.
  • He successfully completed his duty of being CM of Goa as well as defence Minister of the country.
  • Since early this year, he had limited his public interactions and only travelled along with the medical staff of Goa Medical College.

2. Justice Ghose to be India’s first ‘Lokpal’

  • Former Supreme Court judge and current member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Pinaki Chandra Ghose, is likely to be India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman, or Lokpal, after his name was cleared and recommended by the high-level selection committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The government was prompted to make the selection after the Supreme Court set the February-end deadline.

a. Key facts

  • The Lokpal Act, which was passed in 2013 after a nationwide anti-corruption movement, provides for setting up of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the States to probe corruption complaints against top functionaries and public servants, including the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers.
  • Mr. Ghose was appointed as judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997 and went on to become Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013.

3. MCI amends controversial rule on disabled doctors

  • Following reports of some MBBS doctors with high levels of locomotor disability being denied permission to pursue post-graduate courses, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has amended its guidelines to say that such candidates could be admitted based on a case by case assessment of “functional competency” with the aid of assistive devices.
  • Before this notification, many students with locomotor disability who had cleared NEET were subjected to the humiliation of undergoing assessment without assistive devices, like being asked to walk without crutches.

a. Key facts

  • The amendment notification stated that those who were earlier declared ineligible due to disability level being assessed as more than 90% will have to appear for a reassessment.
  • Currently, the registration phase is on. Choice filling will start from March 19.
  • The candidates will need their eligibility certificates only for the reporting phase, which is from March 27 to April 3.

4. Ordnance Factories Day

  • Ordnance Factories Day is observed all over India on 18th March every year.
  • The production of the oldest Ordnance Factory of India, which is located at Cossipore, Kolkata was commenced on 18th March 1802.
  • On this occasion, the Ordnance Factory, Field Gun Factory, Small Arms Factory, Ordnance Parachute Factory and Ordnance Equipment Factory acknowledge the day with great pomp.

a. Key facts

  • The day is celebrated throughout the ordnance factories in which employees of all categories take part in various organized events.
  • This day is commemorated by the display of guns, ammunition, rifles, artillery etc in exhibitions across India. The exhibitions are usually open for all the citizens.

5. Pramod Sawant sworn in as Goa Chief Minister

  • Pramod Sawant, former Speaker of Goa legislative Assembly and MLA from Sankhelim in North Goa sworn-in as 11th Chief Minister of Goa, succeeding Manohar Parrikar, who died after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.
  • He was given the oath of office and secrecy at Raj Bhavan near here by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha.

a. Key facts

  • The entire Cabinet of Manohar Parikkar has been retained.
  • The Ministers who were also sworn-in included Manohar Ajgaonkar (MGP), Rohan Khavtye (independent), Govind Gaude (independent), Vinod Palyekar (Goa forward), Jayesh Salgaonkar (Goa Forward) and four of BJP, namely, Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik aand Nilesh Cabral.

7. Lokpal will be headed by justice Ghose along with two former high court chief justice

  • The Lokpal is set to be headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and will have two former high court chief justices — Justices Abilasha Kumari and Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale — as judicial members along with three non-judicial members.
  • The Lokpal selection committee comprising PM Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, CJI’s nominee Justice S A Bobde and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi last week finalised the names.

a. Key facts

  • Justice Abhilasha Kumari became a judge of Himachal Pradesh HC in 2005 and was transferred to Gujarat HC in 2006.
  • She was appointed chief justice of Manipur HC in 2018 and served in the post till 14 days before her superannuation.
  • After retirement, she was appointed chairperson of Gujarat State Human Rights Commission in May last year.
  • Justice Bhosale became a judge of Bombay HC in 2001 and was transferred to Karnataka HC in 2012. He was appointed chief justice of Allahabad HC in July 2016 and retired from there in October 2018.

8. Codes of Ethics for Social media platforms in India

  • The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and various social media organizations, at a meeting with the Election Commission, agreed to formulate a Code of Ethics for online platforms.

a. Key facts

  • The meeting was attended by officials of the IAMAI, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, Share Chat, TikTok and BigoTV.
  • It was held to review the steps being taken to identify and report electoral rule violations in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls.
  • Issues ranging from the setting up of a dedicated grievance channel for expeditious action, pre-certification and ensuring transparency in expenditure of political advertisements were taken up.

9. Fifteenth Finance Commission holds meeting on issues of Environment, Forest and Climate change

  • The Commission may consider proposing measurable performance-based incentives for States, at the appropriate level of government, in areas
  • (a) Achievements in implementation of flagship schemes of Government of India, disaster resilient infrastructure, sustainable development goals, and quality of expenditure.
  • (b) Progress made in sanitation, solid waste management and bringing in behavioral change to end open defecation.

a. Key facts

  • In this meeting the discussions were held on the proposed formula for Forest Sector Based Tax Devolution along with a proposed catchment area treatment and forest restoration grant.
  • The meeting also discussed in detail the proposed recommendations for environment (pollution sector) and the proposed pollution abatement performance grant along with proposed formula for the purpose.

10. Tejas aircraft to perform in the LIMA-2019

  • Two Tejas light combat aircraft will take part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2019) in Malaysia next week, at a time when the Southeast Asian country is planning to buy new fighter jets.
  • It will provide an opportunity to Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to assess the capabilities of LCA.
  • The maritime and aerospace exhibition will be staged at Langkawi from March 26-30.

a. Key facts

  • LIMA is one of the most influential shows within the maritime and aerospace industries.
  • A significant gateway to the heart of the world's most dynamic market region, LIMA brings top decision makers—from senior Government officials to military and civil industry leaders.
  • They come together with prominent manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe, in creating the ideal platform where partnerships are forged and business opportunities seized.
  • The Indian contingent, which left the Kalaikunda air base, consists of two Tejas fighters, a C-130J Super Hercules special operations plane, an IL-76 heavy lifter, 27 officers, 42 air warriors and 11 personnel from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

11. Martyrs Day celebration in India

  • Martyrs day in India is celebrated to pay homage to the victims who fought for the freedom, welfare and progress of the India and sacrificed their lives.
  • Martyrs Day (Sarvodaya Day or Shaheed Diwas) in India 2019 will be celebrated on 23rd of March, Saturday. It was also celebrated on 30th January on the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi.

a. Key facts

  • The Martyrs Day on 23rd March 2019 will be celebrated with great patriotism by each and every citizen of India.
  • Members of all political parties will be paying tribute to Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh who sacrificed his life for the country at a very young age.
  • Naman- Shaheedo ke Sapno ko, a social and cultural development organization will be organizing a march on Shaheed Diwas to pay tribute to the martyrs of our nation who sacrificed their lives on the borders protecting their motherland.
  • The march will be flagged off from the Agrico Ground, Jamshedpur. The organization will also facilitate around 45 soldiers and their family members on the occasion.


1. Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe: 150 Killed

  • Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have been hit by a vicious cyclone that has killed nearly 150 people, left hundreds more missing and stranded tens of thousands who are cut off from roads and telephones in mainly poor, rural areas.
  • Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries, according to the UN and government officials.

a. Key facts

  • In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure.
  • Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure. The largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale

2. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev resighned after three decades in power

  • Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly resigned after three decades in power, which appears to be the first step in a choreographed political transition.
  • The 78-year-old former steel worker and Communist party apparatchik has ruled the vast oil and gas-rich Central Asian nation since 1989, when it was still part of the Soviet Union.

a. Key facts

  • Nursultan Äbishuly Nazarbayev is a Kazakh politician, who served as the first President of Kazakhstan, in office from 24 April 1990 until his resignation on 19 March 2019.
  • He was named First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR in 1989, and was elected as the nation's first president following its independence from the Soviet Union.
  • He holds the title "Leader of the Nation". In April 2015, Nazarbayev was re-elected with almost 98% of the vote.

3. US will start accepting applications for H-1B visas for the next fiscal year from April 1

  • The US will start accepting applications for H-1B visas for the next fiscal year from April 1 as per the federal immigration agency
  • They have announced the launch of a new data hub to increase the transparency of the work visa programme popular among Indian IT companies and professionals.

a. Key facts

  • The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
  • The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

4. USA asks Pakistan to take irreversible action against terrorism

  • The United States has asked Pakistan to take sustained, verifiable and irreversible action against the perpetrators of terrorism
  • It has warned the country that another terror attack on India will prove to be extremely problematic.

a. Key facts

  • As per the reports from white house, if there’s any additional terrorist attack without Pakistan having made a sustained, sincere effort against these groups, it would be extremely problematic for Pakistan and it would cause re-escalation of tensions, which is dangerous for both countries

5. World Water Day

  • World Water Day 2019 will be celebrated all over the world on Friday, 22nd of March.
  • The day will be observed with a focus of providing water to everyone as it is the human rights of everyone.
  • This year the event will be on tackling water crisis and addressing the reasons why people are left behind in providing safe water.
  • In Jaipur, an awareness workshop will be organized which will showcase the importance of water and how safe water could be provided to the people living in villages and remote areas.

a. Key facts

  • It was first officially added in the schedule 21 of the year 1992 “United Nations Conference on Environment and Development” in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and celebration was started from the year 1993 to motivate the general public in order to get their support in water conservation by avoiding the use of their taps for whole day.
  • This campaign is specially promoted by one of the UN agencies every year which involves encouraging the people to listen and understand about the water issues as well as coordinating with the international activities for the World Water Day.

6. Kazakhstan capital renamed as Nursultan

  • Kazakhstan parliament voted to rename countries capital in honor of their long time ruler Nursultan Nazar Bayev.
  • It was decided after the president resigned the post and Kassim Jomart Tokayev sworn as new interim President.

a. Key facts

  • Hence Astana is now officially renamed as Nursultan.
  • Nursultan Äbishuly Nazarbayev is a Kazakh politician, who served as the first President of Kazakhstan, in office from 24 April 1990 until his resignation on 19 March 2019.

7. Italy become the first member of the Group of Seven (G7)

  • Italy and China want to revive the spirit of the ancient Silk Road by deepening their trade and investment ties.
  • Mr. Xi is set to sign a deal that will see Italy become the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations to join China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure project (BRI), which is inspired by historic, centuries-old trade routes.

a. Key facts

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion).
  • The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values.

8. World meteorological day is celebrated all across the world

  • World meteorological day is celebrated all across the world by the member states meteorological organizations every year on 23rd of March.
  • It is an annual event being commemorated yearly by the almost 191 meteorological organization members worldwide.
  • Worldwide meteorological communities using a particular chosen theme of the year in order to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization to keep constant watch on the weather and climate for the better life and future.

a. Key facts

  • This year World Meteorological Day 2019 theme is “The Sun, the Earth and the Weather”.
  • The World meteorological day was founded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which is an intergovernmental organization established for meteorology and having approximately the membership of 191 worldwide Member States as well as Territories.
  • It was first founded and originated from the “International Meteorological Organization” which was established by the International Meteorological Congress at Vienna, Austria in the year 1873.


1. 3rd Indo-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction held in New Delhi

  • The 3rd Indo-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction was held on 18 March 2019.
  • The workshop was attended by about 140 delegates from Japan and India including experts from both the governments, top premium research institutes, city administrators, specialized Disaster Management agencies and private sector.

a. Key facts

  • The Government of India and the Government of Japan had signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in September 2017.
  • The 3rd Indo-Japan workshop is the follow-up of the deliberations held during the 1st Indo-Japan Workshop on DRR held on March 18-19, 2018 in New Delhi as well as during the 2nd Indo-Japan workshop on DRR held on October 13-15, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.
  • The 3rd workshop was organized with an objective of enhancing collaboration between research institutes, cities and the private sector in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction.

2. Nirav Modi faces arrest in UK after ED request

  • According to ED sources, Nirav Modi will be arrested and released on bail on the condition that he cannot leave the country after which extradition proceedings would begin.
  • Fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi is likely to be placed under arrest soon by UK authorities after the Westminster Magistrate Court in London issued a warrant against him a few days ago, sources in Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.

a. Key facts

  • Modi is accused of siphoning Rs 13,500 crore from the Punjab National Bank through fraudulent letters of undertaking and letters of credit in connivance with his uncle Mehul Choksi and bank officials at PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

3. 33rd Edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (Ind-Indo Corpat) Commences at Port Blair

  • Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN-235 led by Cmde Dafit Santoso arrived at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India for the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd edition of the India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT)
  • It is to be held from 19 Mar to 04 Apr 2019.

a. Key facts

  • The ship and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary line.
  • The patrolling would be conducted in three phases from 22-31 March 2019.
  • This will be followed by a Closing Ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia, which is scheduled from 01-04 April 2019.

4. The 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships

  • The 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships concluded in New Delhi.
  • The three-day conclave was organised by the Ministry of Commerce inassociation with Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank of India.

a. Key facts

  • The trade ties with African countries have strengthened over the years and the relationship has been mutually beneficial.
  • The India-Africa bilateral partnership is further augmented by India’s ascendency as the   growing major economy, as well as Africa’s new economic dynamism illustrated by some of the sub-Saharan economies featuring among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

5. Iraq government requests Indian healthcare companies to set up facilities in Iraq

  • The Iraq government is wooing major players in India’s health care sector to set up facilities in the country to cater to the tens of thousands of people who travel to India for treatment.
  • About 80,000 Iraqis come to Indian cities like New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai every year for treatment, drawn by lower costs, professional facilities and similarity in culture between the two countries.

a. Key facts

  • It is believed Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals, which has a presence in Bangladesh and Oman, and New Delhi-based Max Healthcare are eyeing the Iraqi market.

6. India will provide inland navigation facility to Nepal

  • India has agreed to extend the inland waterway navigation facilities to Nepal till Haldiya, Calvutta, via Koshi and Gandak rivers.

a. Key facts

  • After a joint meeting India has also agreed to provide its two sea ports Dharma, Odisha and Mudra, Gujarat to Nepal for conducting third country trade.

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Posted By:

Ragini Joshi


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