National News

Ministry of Coal Signs an MoU With Ministry of Energy, Poland

i. Ministry of Coal of India entered into an MoU with the Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland. The MoU has been signed between Sh. Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, Minister of State for Coal and Mines and Mr Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland.

ii. The objective of this MoU is to foster relations in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies through the already established Joint Coal Working Group as well as research institutes and academia between the two countries

Useful Info-

  • Poland Capital: Warsaw, Currency: Polish zloty.

Kala Ghoda Festival 2019 Begins In Mumbai

i. The Kala Ghoda festival, India’s largest multi-cultural street festivalbegins in Mumbai to celebrate its 20 years of art and culture through cinema, theatre, dance, literature, and sculpture. Maneck Davar is Chairman of Kala Ghoda Association.

ii. The festival hosted the exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and some rich history of Mumbai. To underscore KGAF’s two-decade run, the theme for this year is A Measure of Time.

‘Sopan 2019’ Held At New Delhi

i. The 6-day long music and dance festival ‘Sopan 2019’, to encourageyoung artists to take up traditional art took place in New Delhi.  

ii. It was Organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad and the New Delhi government, in partnership with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

Kerala Becomes 1st State To Set Up Price Monitoring And Research Unit

i. Kerala has become the first State to set up a Price Monitoring and Research Unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO).

ii. The move comes more than five years after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) proposed such a system for the States and the Union Territories.

Useful Info-

  • Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor: Palaniswamy Sathasivam.

Shehri Samridhi Utsav Launched Across The Country

i. Shehri Samridhi Utsav, an initiative of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), aims to extend the outreach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), to the most vulnerable, showcase its initiatives and facilitate access of Self-Help Group (SHG) members to the other government schemes.

ii. A major highlight of Shehri Samridhi Utsav is theNational Exhibition cum sale of SHG products and National Street Food Festival being organized in New Delhi.

Useful Info-

  • Hardeep Singh Puri is the Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

ISRO Sets Up Human Space Flight Centre for Gaganyaan Mission in Bengaluru


i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled its Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) at ISRO Headquarter campus in Bengaluru, Karnataka for its maiden manned space mission‘Gaganyaan’. The space flight centre was inaugurated by K Kasturirangan, former ISRO Chairman.

ii. ISRO is gearing up for its maiden manned mission Gaganyaan, which is planned for 2021-end. The plan is to have the first unmanned mission in December 2020 and the second one in July 2021. 

Useful Info-

  • ISRO Director: K. Sivan, Headquarters: Bengaluru, Established in: 1969.

Banking/Business/Economy News

Two RRBs To Be Merged To Form Tamil Nadu Grama Bank

i. Two regional rural banks (RRBs) – Pallavan Grama Bank and Pandyan Grama Bank – will be merged to form the Tamil Nadu Grama Bank as per the Finance Ministry notification. The integration will be effective from April 1.

ii. The new Tamil Nadu Grama Bank will be under the sponsorship of Indian Bank with head office in Salem. Originally the Pallavan Grama Bank was sponsored by Indian Bank and the Pandyan Grama Bank by Indian Overseas Bank.

NBHC Releases Kharif Crop Estimates For The Year 2018-19

i. National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC) has released Kharif Crop estimation for the year 2018-2019. According to the report, the basmati rice production is expected to decline by 9.24% to 5.18 million metric tonnes.

ii. The total oilseeds production is estimated to be 19.87 million metric tonne which is 5.36 % lower as compared to the year 2018. The pulses production is projected to be dropped to 9.10 million tonnes.

Swiggy Acquihires Bengaluru-Based AI Startup Kint

i. Food delivery startup Swiggy has acquihired Bengaluru-based AI startup Kint.io for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Kint.io’s founding members Pavithra Solai Jawahar and Jagannathan Veeraraghavan will join the Swiggy team. 

ii. Acqui-hiring refers to buying out a company or an entity primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services. 

ADB Buys 14% Stake In Annapurna Finance

i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has bought a 14% stake in micro-financier Annapurna Finance for Rs 137 crore, reinforcing the belief that India’s microfinance sector is on course to attract long-term funds from global lenders and investors.

ii. ADB has backed MFIs to help achieve its broader objective of reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific. The investment by ADB will expand Annapurna’s net worth to Rs 580 crore.

Useful Info-

  • Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Manila, Philippines, President: Takehiko Nakao.

Ranks and Reports

Assam Tops In Budgetary Practices Followed By States: Transparency International

i. Assam occupied the top slot in the ranking of best practices followed by states in the Budget formulation, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, as per a survey by Transparency International.

ii. The survey is based on 4 parameters which include public disclosure, budgetary process, post-budget fiscal management and efforts to make the budget more transparent and citizen-friendly. The states which figured lower in the ranking were Meghalaya, Manipur and Punjab.

Fitch Group Arm Projects Fiscal Deficit To Slip To 3.6% In 2019-20

i. Fitch Solutions, the research arm of Fitch Group, projected the government’s fiscal deficit to overshoot the budgeted target by 0.2% to 3.6% of GDP in 2019-20 fiscal. It stated that 2019-20 Budget appears to show a strong populist bent in the run-up to the General election due by May 2019.

ii. Accordingly, Fitch Solutions revised its forecast for the central government fiscal deficit to come in at 3.6% of GDP in FY 2019-20, from 3% previously, which reflects our expectation for a wider fiscal deficit in FY 2019-20 versus FY2018-19.


P V Bharathi Appointed As CEO Of Corporation Bank

i. The former executive director of Canara Bank, P V Bharathi assumed charge as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Corporation Bank. P V Bharati became the first woman CEO of the bank. Bharathi has been executive director of Canara Bank since September 2016 and served as the firm’s general manager in the risk management wing.

ii. She has more than 37 years of experience in the banking industry. Despite the post of executive director of Canara Bank, she also held the post of non-executive director of Can Fin Homes Limited and also a director board member of Canbank Venture Capital Limited.

Useful Info-

  • Corporation Bank Headquarters – Mangalore, Tagline – A Premier Public Sector Bank, Prosperity for all.


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