1-17 March 2020 Current Affairs

COVID-19 | Global Pandemic | Vivad Se Vishwas Bill | Luxembourg | Yes Bank | EPF Rate | Uttarakhand Summer Capital |

Posted on Mar 17, 2020 09:37 IST in Current Affairs.

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1) On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization declared novel Corona Virus as Global Pandemic as it is rapidly spreading across the world. Currently which is the other medical problem kept in the grade of pandemic? – HIV/AIDS (The new Corona Virus (COVID-19) was graded as a global pandemic by the WHO as it the virus made its presence felt across all continents in the world and over 100 countries. As on 17 March 2020 there are over 180000 CONVID-19 cases across the globe with over 7 thousands deaths. It is worth mentioning that the only current global pandemic is AIDS/HIV. Other major medical conditions to be declared global pandemics in the past are various bouts of influenza, cholera, small-pox, tuberculosis, measles, yellow fever and malaria)

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2) The Parliament of India on 13 March 2020 cleared the Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 as the Rajya Sabha passed the bill on this date. What is the main objective of this bill? – To settle all the pending direct tax disputes in the country (The Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 seeks to resolve around 4.83 lakh direct tax cases that are currently pending in the various appellate forums of the country. It primarily aims to provide the taxpayers with an opportunity to settle all their direct tax disputes within the ongoing financial year)

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3) During March 2020 which country became the world’s first country to make the public transport completely free? – Luxembourg (Luxembourg, the small and rich European country, from 1 March 2020 made all public transport in the country free. The measure was introduced with an aim to encourage Luxembourg's inhabitants to use it and curb the continued traffic problems the country is experiencing. From this date country’s buses, trams, and trains became completely free of charge)

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4) Union Cabinet approved the reconstruction of crisis-hit Yes Bank as per the scheme proposed by RBI. According to this reconstruction scheme State Bank of India will invest how much equity in Yes Bank? – 49% (Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 13 March 2020 announced that country’s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) will invest for 49% equity in Yes Bank and other investors are also being invited. There will be a three year lock-in period for all the investors)

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5) On 12 March 2020 Iranian Government sought immediate financial assistance from the IMF to help it combat novel coronavirus. When was the last time that Iran had taken financial assistance from the IMF? – 1962 (Iran has not received assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since a “standby credit” issued between 1960 and 1962. Iran is now seeking financial from the IMF for fighting one of the world's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks)

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6) During March 2020 the Maharashtra cabinet approved a proposal to rename Mumbai Central station on name of which noted personality? - Nana Shankarsheth (The Maharashtra cabinet on 12 March 2020 approved a proposal to rename Mumbai Central station in the city as "Nana Shankarsheth Mumbai Central Railway Station”. Jagannath "Nana" Shankarsheth (1803-1865) was a Maharashtrian philanthropist and educationist famous for his contribution to Mumbai's development)

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7) The Union Government on 7 March 2020 constituted the Delimitation Commission for delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. Who was appointed Chairperson of this commission? – Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai (Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, a former judge of the Supreme Court, was appointed the Chairperson of the Delimitation Committee for Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir will be carried out per the provisions of J&K Reorganisation Act that split the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir with an assembly and Ladakh without an assembly)

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8) Which state topped in domestic solar rooftop installations in India as per information disclosed by the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy during March 2020? – Gujarat (Gujarat has topped the solar roof top plants nationwide with 64% or around two-third of total domestic solar rooftop installations of 79,950 systems installed across the country. The state boasted 50,915 solar rooftop installation systems have a total capacity of 177.67 MW. It was followed by Maharashtra with 5,513 such installations)

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9) During March 2020 Indian men's hockey team was ranked at which place in the latest FIH team rankings? – 4th place (The Indian men's hockey team climbed one spot to rank fourth in the world in the latest FIH team rankings. This is their highest rank since the inception of the world rankings in 2003. The standings are topped by world champions Belgium who are followed by Australia. In the women's list, India occupy the ninth spot)

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10) During March 2020 who took over as the new Finance Secretary replacing Rajiv Kumar? – Ajay Bhushan Pandey (Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Maharashtra cadre, took over as the new Finance Secretary of India. He replaced Rajiv Kumar, who was holding the post since July 2019)

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11) What is the rate of interest for the beneficiaries of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) for current year (2019-20), as was announced on 5 March 2020? – 8.5% (The rate of interest on the EPF has been lowered to 8.5% for 2019-20. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had provided 8.65% rate of interest on EPF for 2018-19 to its around six crore subscribers)

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12) During March 2020 Uttarakhand Government named which place as state’s new summer capital? – Gairsain (Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat on 5 March 2020 announced that Gairsain was named as the new summer capital of the state. Uttarakhand is the second state in India after J&K to have two state capitals. Situated at 1,650 m above sea level, Gairsain is small town in state’s Chamoli district and is over 250 km from main capital Dehradun)

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13) Which major public sector bank during March 2020 done away with the minimum balance requirement for all of its savings bank accounts? – State Bank of India (India’s biggest lender SBI removed the minimum balance requirement for all 44.51 crore savings bank accounts. Currently, SBI customers need to maintain Average Monthly Balance of Rs. 3000, Rs. 2000 and Rs. 1000 in Metro, Semi-Urban and Rural areas respectively. The bank also rationalised interest rate on savings bank accounts to a flat 3% per annum for all buckets)

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14) Who became the first Indian to receive Saudi Arabia's premium residency, the special permit also known as Saudi Green Card? - M A Yusuff Ali (Abu Dhabi-based Indian retail tycoon M A Yusuff Ali became the first Indian to receive Saudi Arabia's premium residency. This was disclosed by his office on 2 March 2020. Yusuff Ali is the chairman of the LuLu Group, who was ranked the richest expat in the UAE by the Forbes magazine last year. Saudi Arabia's premium residency grants expatriates the right to live, work and own business and property in the Kingdom without need for a sponsor)

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15) Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) earned which distinction in the financial year 2018-19? – Manufacturing most locomotives in the year (The Chittaranjan Locomotive Works located in West Bengal produced 402 locomotives in the financial year 2018-19. CLW thus surpassed its own record of producing 350 locomotives which it had manufactured during the year 2017-18. CLW thus got the recognition from the Limca Book of Records)

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