Premium Subsidy Changed
On 17 March 2020, the Union Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha that the premium subsidy sharing pattern between Centre and North Eastern States has been changed from 50 : 50 to 90:10 for PM- Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS). It will allow more States to notify the scheme and existing States to notify more crops and areas to facilitate greater coverage of farmers under the scheme. For remaining States, subsidy sharing pattern will continue as 50:50. The Minister also said that Insurance companies will now be selected by the States for 3 years in a go instead of 1 year thereby increasing their commitment and accountability to the farmers.
World Population Prospects 2019 report
On 20 March 2020 Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed the Loksabha that as per the ‘World Population Prospects 2019’ report, India’s population reached 1.36 billion (136 crore) in mid 2019. He also said that, as per the Census of India, India's population was 121.02 crore in 2011.
Innovate for Accessible India campaign
On 17 March 2020, the Microsoft India and National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) Foundation launched the “Innovate for Accessible India campaign” aimed at empowering people with disabilities with the technology and tools required for better integration into society and access to equal opportunities.
The campaign will invite applications from students, citizens and social impact organisations to build customized solutions that address challenges faced by people with disabilities across the 21 officially recognize disabilities.
The 10 best solutions that address key challenges faced by people with disabilities will be provided mentoring support by Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation, along with grants to develop and scale their solution.
Procurement of Tejas
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for Indian Air Force on 18 March 2020. While orders of 40 Tejas aircraft had been placed with HAL in initial configurations, DAC paved the way for the procurement of another 83 of the more advanced version of the aircraft from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
DAC also accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about 1,300 crore rupees. The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is going to be the backbone of Indian Air Force in future.
MyGov Corona Helpdesk
To reduce panic among the citizens pertaining to COVID-19, the Central Government launched an official chatbot on popular instant messaging application WhatsApp on 20 March 2020. This WhatsApp Chatbot is named MyGov Corona Helpdesk and is available to all WhatsApp users. The person in need is only required to save the number - 9013151515 in their contact list and send a message to the My Gov Corona Helpdesk. The helpdesk is free for all.
The move is expected to mitigate the circulation of fake news and the spreading of misinformation among the masses pertaining to coronavirus. The government of India started helpline number 011-23978046 and Toll free number 1075. It also set up an email id email@example.com to resolve any queries that people might have regarding the dreaded disease.
World Bank increases COVID-19 fund
World Bank announced $ 14 billion to assist companies and countries in their efforts to respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19. It means the World Bank added $ 2 billion to the initial package. This package will strengthen national systems for public health preparedness, including for disease containment, diagnosis, treatment and support.
Nirbhaya case Convicts hanged
Four convicts Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh in Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were hanged to death at Tihar jail in Delhi in the early hours of 20 March 2020.
The pre-dawn execution took place less than two hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the final petition of the convicts.
One of the six arrested in the rape case, Ram Singh was found dead in his jail cell and a minor who was just short of 18 was freed after three years in a reform home.
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is launching Swavalamban Express – a train journey to empower small business aspirants under its Mission “Swavalamban”.
'Swavalamban Express' is modelled as a unique Self-Employment Paathshala, where people come with their dreams and walk out as Swavalambis, empowered to start their own enterprises and take control of their own destinies. The train journey would last for 15 days (starting 1st May 2020), and would cover over 7,000 kms (with stopover at 11 cities) with 500 young and aspiring Swavalambis (or small-business aspirants) aboard and over 150 mentors and subject-matter experts, some travelling together and others present at each station/city to meet and share their experiences and add value.
On March 17, 2020, ATK FC (Foot ball Club) won the Indian Super League trophy by defeating Chennaiyin FC in the final match held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao, Goa.
The final was held without spectators owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Javier Hernandez scored two goals and Edu Garcia netted one of ATK FC to clinch the title.
SAARC to fight Covid-19
On 15 March 2020, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries through video conference to chart out a common strategy in order to combat COVID-19 in the region.
He proposed setting up a COVID-19 emergency fund and he said that India committing $ 10 million initially for it, and asserted that the best way to deal with the pandemic was by coming together and not growing apart.
He also proposed to create common research platform to control epidemics. The leaders from other 7 Nations in video conference shared their views to combat Covid-19.
Satyarup Siddhanta Record
Satyarup Siddhanta became first Indian to climb the highest volcanoes of each of the 7 continents. He climbed the highest volcano of Antarctica - Mt Sidley to complete his 7 summits and Volcanic 7 summits.
By this, the Bengaluru-based 37-years-old techie mountaineer holds a world record for being the youngest in the world to summit the highest mountains (7 Summits) of each continent, including the Mt. Everest in Nepal and highest Volcanoes (Volcanic 7 summits) of each continent.
Chameli Devi Jain Award
Arfa Khanum Sherwani of The Wire and Rohini Mohan, the Bengaluru-based freelancer have been jointly given Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalist. S Rukmini an independent data-journalist from Chennai, received honourable mention.
Arfa Sherwani was chosen for her reporting from conflict situations in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
Rohini Mohan was also chosen for her reportage on the NRC exercise in Assam set a new benchmark for investigative journalism.
The Media Foundation instituted the Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Journalist in 1980, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a legendary freedom fighter and community reformer who went to jail for her beliefs.
1. Former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as .....
1) the member of Rajya sabha
2) the member of Lok sabha
3) Attorney General Of India
4) Chairman, National Human Rights Commission
5) Judge, International court of Justice
2. Kamal Nath resigned as the chief minister of
1) Madhya Pradesh 2) Uttar Pradesh 3) Maharashtra 4) Rajasthan
3. World Sparrow day observed on…
1) 11 March 2) 1 March 3) 20 March 4) 28 February 5) 14 February
4. Haryana's Amin village renamed as ….
1) Deendayal Nagar 2) Gurugram 3) Abhimanyupur 4) Kalaburagi
5. 7th World Cities Summit (WCS) in the month of July 2020 will be held in…
1) Hong Kong 2) Singapore 3) USA 4) Argentina
6. Union Railway Ministry plans to electrify all broad gauge (BG) routes by….
1) December 2023 2) June 2023
3) January 2023 4) December 2024
5) March 2025
7. 'Janata curfew’ observed throughout India on …….to fight coronavirus as per the call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
1) 20 March 2020 2) 22 February 2020
3) 12 March 2020 4) 2 March 2020
5) 22 March 2020
8. The book "My Encounters in Parliament" authored by?
1) Nitu Bhattacharya 2) Tahira Kashyap Khurrana
3) Apurva Purohit 4) Sadguru Patil and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar
5) Bhalchandra Mungekar
9. COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force to deal with the economic challenges arising out of the pandemic headed by….
1) Sanjiv Sanyal 2) Rajiv Kumar
3) Nirmala Sitharaman 4) Krishnamurthy Subramanian
5) Amitabh Kant
Key: 1-1; 2-1; 3-3; 4-3; 5-2; 6-1; 7-5; 8-5; 9-3.