National News 

ISRO Launches Young Scientist Programme ‘YUVIKA’ For Schoolkids

i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a special programme for schoolchildren called Young Scientist Programme or Yuva Vigyani Karyakram (VUVIKA), in tune with the government’s vision“Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”. 

ii. The program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on space technology, space science and space applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of space activities.

Useful info:

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

Facebook launches tools to boost Electoral Process

i. Social Media giant, Facebook has launched two new India-specific tools viz. “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” to boost civic engagement on its platform during the Lok Sabha elections 2019 that commence in April. 

ii. Both these tools will be made available in 12 local languages.

Agreements/MoUs Signed

India-African Union Sign MoU On Strengthening Cooperation In Healthcare Sector

i. An agreement has been signed between India and the African Unionto establish an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform. 

ii. The MoU will pave the way for cooperation in research and development, capacity building, health services, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics.

Useful info:

  • On May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 32 African states that had achieved independence at that time agreed to establish the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
  • There are 55 Member States currently in the African Union.
  • Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (of Egypt) is the chairperson of AU from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020.

India, US Ink Pact To Check Tax Evasion By MNCs

i. India and the US signed an agreement for exchange of country-by-country (CbC) report. The move will give huge relief to subsidiaries of US-headquartered companies in the taxation-related matter. 

ii. The agreement for the exchange of CbC reports will enable the two countries to automatically exchange the reports filed by the ultimate parent entities of the multinational enterprises in the respective jurisdictions pertaining to the years commencing on or after January 1, 2016.

Banking/Business News

Infosys, Roland-Garros Team Up For Digital Innovation

i. Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, and Roland-Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament, also called the French Open, announced a three-year strategic technology partnership. 

ii. The partnership aims to re-imagine the tennis experience for the fans and the players globally.

Bank of Baroda Set To Develop Digital Agri Platform ‘Baroda Kisan’

i. Bank of Baroda has signed an MoU with agriculture services companies to develop an agriculture digital platform, Baroda Kisan,which will provide solutions for agricultural requirements. 

ii. BoB has signed the agreement with Skymet Weather Services, Weather Risk Management Services, BigHaat, Agrostar India, EM3 Agri Services, and Poorti Agri Services.

Useful info:

  • P. S. Jayakumar is the MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda.
  • It headquarters in Vadodara, Gujarat.


BCCI Ombudsman Justice D.K. Jain to Serve As Ad-Hoc Ethics Officer

i. Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman Justice D K Jain (retd)will now serve as the Ethics Officer of the Indian cricket board on an ad-hoc basis

ii. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),provisions in its constitution require an Ethics Officer to be appointed to determine and decide issues related to conflict of interest.

Useful info:

  • Justice D K Jain (retd) has been appointed as the first Ombudsman of the BCCI recently.

Ranks and Reports 

Skytrax World Airport Awards: Singapore’s Changi Tops, India’s IGI Ranks 59th

i. Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the world’s best aviation hub for the seventh time in a row, while New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport featured at number 59, according to the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

ii. The list has been compiled by the UK-based Skytrax, a consultancy firm which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site, featuring 100 airports. New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport is India’s Best Airport. 

Sports News

Veselin Matic Set To Be India’s Basketball Coach

i. Veselin Matic, who took Iran to an Asian Games bronze medal in 2010, is set to be appointed as the new head coach of the Indian men’s basketball team. 

ii. The Serbian’s name had been cleared by the sports ministry. A veteran international coach, Matic helped Iran qualify for its first ever World Championship (2010) with victory in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship.


Malayalam Writer And Poet Ashita Passes Away

i. Celebrated Malayalam writer and poet Ashita passed away at the age of 63 in Thrissur, after fighting a long battle with cancer. 

ii. She was the recipient of myriad awards, and some include the Padmarajan Award – Thathagatha (2000), Lalithambika Antharjanam Award (1994) and Edaserri Award (1986).