National News

New Visa Agreement Between India, Maldives Comes Into Effect

i. The new visa agreement between India and Maldives came into force. The new policy provides a liberal visa policy for Maldivian citizens seeking medical treatment as well as education and business opportunities in India.

ii. The agreement has come into effect after all formalities including information being provided to all immigration offices, border points and customs authorities have been completed.

Useful info:

  • Maldives Capital: Male, Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa.

India-Bangladesh Jointly Inaugurated 4 Development Projects

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly unveiled e-plaques for development projects in Bangladesh through video conferencing. 

ii. This was the sixth such video conference between PM Modi and Prime Minister Hasina. Both the leaders launched the e-plaques for these projects in Bangladesh:

1. Supply of buses and trucks,

2. Inauguration of 36 community clinics,

3. Inauguration of 11 water treatment plants,

4. Extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh.

PINAKA Guided Weapons System Successfully Test Fired 

i. Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test fired the PINAKA guided WEAPON rocket system from Pokhran range in Rajasthan.

ii. The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising of an advanced navigation and control system. The weapon systems impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies.

Useful info:

  • Dr G. Satheesh Reddy is the Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO.
  • DRDO Established in: 1958, Headquarters in:  New Delhi. 

Dipa Karmakar Selected As Barbie Role Model

i. Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar was selected as Barbie role model & was presented with a one-of-a-kind doll by Barbie as the company celebrates its 60th anniversary.
ii. She was part of the ‘Shero’ program launched in 2015 by the company.

Useful info:

  • Dipa Karmakar was the 1st Indian female gymnast in the Olympics.

International News

Vice President’s Visit To Paraguay And Costa Rica: Complete Highlights 

i. The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu visited the Republic of Paraguay and the Republic of Costa Rica.  

ii. Visit To Paraguay: The Vice President met with the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr. Mario Abdo Benítez, the Vice President, Mr. Hugo Velázquez, and the President of the National Congress (Senate), Mr. Silvio Ovelar. He also addressed the India-Paraguay business forum and interacted with the Indian Diaspora in Paraguay. 

iii. Visit To Costa Rica: The visit of Vice President to the Republic of Costa Rica was the first ever high-level visit from India to the nation. The Vice President met the President of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Alvarado Quesada and held Delegation level talks with him which was followed by a joint press statement. 

Useful info:

  • Paraguay Capital: Asunción, Currency: Paraguayan guaraní.
  • Costa Rica Capital: San José, Currency: Costa Rican colón. 
  • The Vice President was also conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University for Peace founded by the United Nations.

Appointments

Dr. A.K. Mohanty Takes Over As Director BARC

i. Dr. A.K. Mohanty, Distinguished Scientist and Director, physics group of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata took over as Director, BARC from Mr. K.N. Vyas, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy.

Useful info:

  • Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) in January 1954.
  • After the sad demise of Bhabha in 1966, AEET was renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). 

Ashu Khullar Appointed as CEO of CITI Bank India

i. Ashu Khullar will replace Pramit Jhaveri as CEO of CITI Bank India from April 1, 2019. 

ii. In January, the RBI imposed a Rs 3 crore fine on the bank for shortcomings in regulatory compliance.

Useful info:

  • CITI Bank India HQ- Mumbai, Tagline- CITI Never Sleeps.

Ranks and Reports

India Now 2nd Largest Arms Importer In The World; Saudi On Top: SIPRI Report

i. India is the second largest importer of weapons in the world, as per the annual report ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers-2018’released by the think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)Saudi Arabia is now the world’s largest weapons importer.

ii. After maintaining its position of world’s largest arms importer for about 8 years, India dropped down to be the second largest importer of weapons during 2014-18. India accounted for 9.5% of the global total imports during 2014-18, while Saudi Arabia accounted for 12% of the total imports during the period.

Banking/Business News

PNB Sanctions Loans Worth Rs 689 cr to 1,600 MSMEs Via Online Portal

i. State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has sanctioned loans worth Rs 689 crore to over 1,600 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through the psbloansin59minutes.com portal as part of its effort to promote such industries. 

ii. Under the Mudra Yojana, the bank has offered loan to over 2.69 lakh small entrepreneurs this fiscal (till February 14, 2019).

Useful info:

  • PNB Headquarters in: New Delhi, CEO: Sunil Mehta.

NCLT Clears ArcelorMittal’s Rs 42,000-crore Bid To Take Over Essar Steel

i. The Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the Rs 42,000-crore resolution plan submitted by ArcelorMittal for the debt-ridden Essar Steel Ltd. 

ii. ArcelorMittal’s takeover proposal for the indebted steel-maker was approved by the Essar Steel’s Committee of Creditors last October and it was pending before the NCLT for approval since then.

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