Government brings transport scheme to boost agriculture exports
i. The government has introduced a scheme for providing financial assistance for transport and marketing of agriculture products with a view to boosting export of farm commodities to certain countries in Europe and North America.
ii. Under the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme, the government would reimburse a certain portion of freight charges and provide assistance for marketing of agricultural produce. The scheme covers freight and marketing assistance for export by air as well as by sea (both normal and refrigerated cargo).
President presents Swachh Survekhshan-2019 Awards
i. President Ram Nath Kovind has presented Swachh Survekhshan-2019 Awards in New Delhi. Indore bagged award for the cleanest city for the third straight year in Swachh Survekshan.
ii. New Delhi Municipal Council area gets cleanest small city award while Uttarakhand’s Gauchar was adjudged Best Ganga Town in the survey. Top-ranked cities received a statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi as the award for their work towards cleanliness. Swachh Survekshan 2019 covered all Urban Local Bodies in the country, making it the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.
Women To Get Permanent Commission In 10 Army Branches
i. Women officers can now get permanent commissions in 10 branches of the Indian Army, the government announced. The Defence Ministry stated that it has taken necessary steps to ensure that women, who were earlier inducted for short service commission (SSC), get the permanent commission in the armed forces.
ii. The permanent commission will be granted to women officers inducted in branches such as Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence.
‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum inaugurated at Red Fort
i. Union Minister Mahesh Sharma has inaugurated ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum, dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle, on the Red Fort premises in New Delhi.
ii. Built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the museum is the fifth in a series of recently inaugurated ones — the others being the Subhash Chandra Bose and INA museum, the Yaad-e-Jallian museum, the Museum on 1857 (on the country’s first war of Independence) the Drishyakala (a museum on Indian Art) on the sacrifices of India’s freedom fighters.
World Bank to provide 250 Million dollars for NRETP to boost Rural incomes in India
i. The World Bank will provide a $250-million loan for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) to help women in rural households develop viable enterprises for farm and non-farm products. An agreement in this regard was signed between the World Bank and the Government of India.
ii. The $250 million loans have a 5-year grace period and a final maturity of 20 years. The NRLP, which is currently being implemented across 13 states, 162 districts and 575 blocks, has so far mobilised more than 8.8 million women from poor rural households into 7.5 lakh self-help groups (SHGs).
SBI, Hitachi arm to roll out digital payments platform
i. State Bank of India (SBI) and Hitachi Payment Services Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd has launched their merchant-acquiring joint venture, SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBIPSPL) in Mumbai for establishing a digital payments platform for India and other countries in the region.
ii. The joint venture (SBI) has a 74 percent stake, and the balance is with Hitachi Payment Services) will facilitate expansion of the digital payments landscape in India via its digital payments platform.
Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT- Automatic Fare Collection Gating System
i. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence public sector undertaking, presented SWAGAT – the Automatic Fare Collection Gating System. PM Narendra Modi launched the system as part of the inaugural of Phase-I of the Ahmedabad Metro.
ii. SWAGAT is an initiative steered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with BEL and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI).
India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 25.2 Million
i. The Government of India, the State Government of Chhattisgarh and the World Bank signed a $25.2 Million Loan Agreement to support the State’s Reforms in Expenditure Management. This support will cover Expenditure Planning, Investment Management, Budget Execution, Public Procurement, and Accountability.
ii. The Chhattisgarh Public Financial Management and Accountability Program, which is the First Bank-Financed State-Level Project in Chhattisgarh in nearly a decade, will also help the State strengthen its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Tax Administration Systems.
- Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh: Bhupesh Baghel, Capital of Chhattisgarh– Raipur
- Headquarters of World Bank: Washington, DC
China slashes its GDP target to 6-6.5% amid slowdown
i. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has expressed concern that the country will face a graver and more complicated environment to development, amid an ongoing trade war with the US and continued economic slowdown.
ii. The world’s second-largest economy has slashed its GDP target to 6.00 to 6.50 percent this year.
Bilateral joint exercise between India, Oman to begin from 12th March
i. The third edition of the bilateral joint exercise between India and Oman, Al Nagah 2019 will begin from 12th of this month (March) at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman.
ii. It will continue till 25th of March. In the exercise, both the armies will exchange expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling and firing.
Kylie Jenner becomes world’s youngest self-made billionaire
i. Kylie Jenner was named the youngest self-made billionaire of all time by Forbes magazine, thanks to the booming cosmetics company she founded three years ago.
ii. Jenner, 21, the half-sister of reality television stars Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, made it onto the annual Forbes list of billionaires after debuting her Kylie Cosmetics online in 2015 with $29 lip kits containing matching lipstick and lip liner.
Nobel prize in literature to be awarded twice this year
i. Two Nobel prizes in literature will be awarded this year, to make up for the lack of one in 2018 while the scandal-plagued Swedish Academy attempted to get its house in order.
ii. Last year’s Nobel was withheld for the first time since 1949 after the Swedish Academy, the august institution that selects the winners was hit with a sexual misconduct scandal that saw the husband of one member imprisoned for rape.
TVS Motor Company bags International Sustainability ‘Green Era’ Award
i. TVS Motor Company has recently bagged the International Sustainability Award – ‘Green Era Award for Sustainability’ in Lisbon, Portugal. The company also won the ‘Quality and Business Excellence Award’ in acknowledgment of its endeavor to create new benchmarks in product quality.
ii. The ‘Green Era Award for Sustainability’ was set up to recognize the true global exemplars who have been innovative and creative in pursuing the sustainable imperative. TVS Motor Company bagged the award because of its sincere commitment towards being a responsible manufacturer. The company has bagged this award for the second time.