Current Affairs March 2019 - National


1 - YUVIKA programme launched by ISRO


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a programme YUVIKA, specially for school children. The programme is on the lines of Central government’s vision "Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan".

This programme, YUVIKA or Yuva Vigyani Karyakram, in full, is designed to educate school going children about the latest areas of space research and activities. It also intends to create interest in young minds about space technology, space science and space applications.

ISRO has its headquarters in Bengaluru and was established in 1969. Currently, K. Sivan is serving as the Director of ISRO.

2 - Facebook launches tools to raise voter awareness


In view of the upcoming General Elections in India that are set to commence in April 2019, the social media giant Facebook launched two new tools to promote voter awareness and to support electoral process.

The two tools are “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted”. These tools are specific to only India. The tools are available in 12 Indian languages.

3 - PM Modi addresses the Nation on the success of Anti-Satellite Weapon (A-SAT)

PM Narendra Modi

India successfully launched its first Anti-Satellite Weapon (A-SAT) under the mission named ‘Mission Shakti’.

On the event of this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation. He said this is a milestone in Indian space technology and development, and expressed happiness that India has entered the elite space power team.

India is the fourth country to have successfully tested Anti-Satellite Weapon (A-SAT), after US, Russia, and China.

4 - Indian Army’s First Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Makalu Started

Indian Army’s

A team of five officers, two JCOs and eleven OR started their expedition to Mt. Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world.

This is the first ever expedition by the Indian army to the mountain. This was flagged off by Director General Military Training.

Mt. Makalu, has an altitude of 8485 meters and lies at Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and Tibet, China.

5 - Cabinet approvals in March 2019


The Union Cabinet gave nod to the following important approvals in March 2019 −

  • MoU between India and Republic of Korea on Startup Cooperation.

  • MoU between India and Indonesia on combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and its precursors.

  • Acquisition of land of Central Water Commission at Nallagandla, Hyderabad by Telangana State Government for road widening.

  • Creation of additional posts of three Judicial Members and three Technical Members in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

6 - Chennai’s coach factory becomes the World’s largest rail coach manufacturer

World’s Largest Rail

The Indian Railways Integral Coach Factory (ICF) created a record 40% increase in its production. With this it has surpassed the Chinese counterparts and became the World’s largest rail coach manufacturer.

Established in 1952, owned and operated by Indian railways, the Integral Coach Factory manufactures railway coaches.

It is located in Perambur, Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

7 - Shiksha Vani app launched by CBSE


With a purpose to act as an intermediary platform between students, parents and the Board, an app named Shiksha Vani was launched by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The app will notify the users in time about all important announcements the Board releases.

The headquarters of CBSE is New Delhi, India. The current chairperson of CBSE is Anita Karwal.

8 - IIPHG launches app ‘Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior’


To help students tackle the exam stress, Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, (IIPHG) in collaboration with National Mental Health Program, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat launched a mobile app named ‘Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior’.

This APP features separate component for parents and students to identify their mental status during exam season. This app also provides access to directly linked to trained Mental Health Professionals i.e. Jeevan Aastha 24/7 telephonic counselling helpline by Government of Gujarat.

9 - Assam launches 'i-help' Initiative

Voters i-help

To create awareness among voters about the digital electoral literacy, an initiative named ‘i-help’ was launched in the state of Assam, India.

This is a joint idea of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) and Common Service Centres (CSC) in Assam.

The initiative is mainly focused on easing voter experience in the upcoming General elections in India.

10 - Guinea PM pays India a 10-day trip


To strengthen Indo-African relations, Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana paid a 10-day visit to India. He participated at a key India-Africa business conclave and hold talks with the top leadership to deepen ties.

He had talks with President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu too on various issues related to both the countries.

Guinea is a country in West Africa and its capital city is Conakry.

11 - Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vijit’ visits Indonesia

Vijit Ship

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Vijit’ becomes the first ever Coast Guard ship to visit Indonesia. This was done to showcase the importance of maritime proximity between India and Indonesia.

On this occasion, the crew of this ship, held talks with interaction with officials of Bakamla (Indonesian Coast Guard), Indonesian Armed Forces and the civil administration at Sabang.


12 - IIT Roorkee signs MoU with ISRO for Space Technology Cells

IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ISRO for setting up of Space Technology Cells in its campus.

As a result of the Space Technology Cells developed under this MoU, the students and faculty members of the institute can pursue advanced research in different areas related to futuristic space technology.


13 - MoU on Digital Education signed between India and Afghanistan

India and Afghanistan

With an intent to work on digital education initiatives, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India and the Afghanistan government signed a MoU at IIT Madras.

The MoU comprises many programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

The capital city if Afghanistan is Kabul and its currency is Afghan Afghani.

14 - Namaste Thailand Festival Held In New Delhi

Namaste Thailand Festival

In a bid to strengthen the ties between India and Thailand, Namastey Thailand festival was held in New Delhi. Stage performances by Thai artists were given on this event.

This is the third season of the festival and is organized by the Royal Thai Embassy.

The capital city of Thailand is Bangkok and its currency is Thai Baht.

15 - Assam and Mizoram top in Climate Vulnerability Index

Assam and Mizoram

As per a new common framework developed by Indian scientists, Assam and Mizoram are most vulnerable in terms of climate vulnerability. They score 0.72 and 0.71 respectively.

This framework is developed to assess the climate changes vulnerability in all Himalayan region states of India.

Researchers say that this report can be customized and applied for other parts of India too.

As per this report, Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with a score of 0.42.

16 - Sampriti 2019 - The Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise concludes

Indo-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise

Sampriti 2019, the joint military exercise of India and Bangladesh concluded at Tangail, Bangladesh.

A group of 9th Battalion the Rajputana Rifles from the Indian Army and the Company of 36 East Bengal Battalion participated in this event.

This is the 8th edition of the Sampriti series. The even has been organized as a mark of special bonds between India and Bangladesh, since 2009.

The current prime minister of Bangladesh is Sheikh Hasina.

17 - Kartarpur corridor operationalization talks successful between India-Pak

Kartarpur Corridor

The famous Kartarpur Corridor will be soon operating for Indian piligrims too very soon.

Talks on this operationalization are successfully completed recently between both the nations concerned - India and Pakistan.

The concerned agreement was made during a meeting held at Attari in Punjab.

18 - USA to set up six nuclear power plants in India

India and USA

India-USA talks on civil nuclear cooperation and bilateral security successfully took place at The 9th round of the India-US Strategic Security Dialogue held in Washington DC.

Both nations agreed to deny weapons of mass destruction and have agreed towards setting up of six new nuclear reactors in India.

In India, currently there are twenty-two nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW.

19 - Sirsi Supari becomes the first from Arecanut family to win GI tag

Sirsi Supari

For the first time in the arecanut sector, ‘Sirsi Supari’ grown in Karnataka has received the Geographic Indication (GI) tag.

The total carbohydrates in ‘Sirsi Supari’ are 23% to 26%, total arecoline is 0.11% to 0.13%, total tannin content is 14.5% to 17.5%.

The Totagars’ Cooperative Sale Society (TSS) Ltd, a Sirsi-based agri cooperative, is the registered proprietor of the GI ‘Sirsi Supari’.

20 - India Extends USD 250 million To Nepal for Reconstruction of Infrastructures

India and Nepal

During the India-Nepal Joint Project Monitoring Committee meeting held, officials from the two countries reviewed the progress of post-earthquake reconstruction projects.

On this meet, India announced a grant assistance of USD 250 million to Nepal for the reconstruction of infrastructures in the areas of housing, education, health and cultural heritage, that was severely damaged during 2015 earthquake in the mountain nation.

21 - Bangalore hosts 4th Internet of Things India Congress

Internet of Things

With a focus on healthcare, manufacturing, telecom, smart cities, energy, retail, cyber security, skills and development, IoT Standards, legal and regulatory, and agriculture, the 4th Internet of Things India Congress would be held in Bangalore, from August 22nd to 23rd, 2019.

In addition to the hackathons and speeches on latest developments in the IoT, a new event 'Future TechSpotlight' is included this time which will provide a glimpse of technology trends in the next 5 to 10 years.

22 - Erode turmeric wins GI tag

Erode Turmeric

Erode turmeric is a rhizome, both finger and bulb obtained from the Erode local cultivar. Quality parameters of the turmeric included 2.5 to 4.5% of curcumin content, a golden yellow colour and resistance to pests after boiling.

A Geographical Indication is a name or sign used on certain products that correspond to a specific geographical location or origin.

Erode is a city in the state of Tamilnadu, India.

23 - Delhi Government Sets-Up Committee To Reform Higher Education

Delhi Government

The Delhi government’s Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) set up a committee to “reform higher education” in the capital. The committee will recommend goals, metrics, policies, and actionable plans for reforming Delhi’s higher education system within a year

Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said the “initiative furthers the commitment to transform the education system in the national capital”.

24 - Much ‘liberal’ visa agreement comes into effect in between India and Maldives

Visa Agreement

The Maldives and India exchanged diplomatic notes for implementing the visa facilitation agreement, which was signed during President Ibu Solih’s visit in December 2018. The new agreement will be in place from March 11.

This has been a long term request form the side of Maldives. A liberalized visa regime was top priority for the Maldivian government, as thousands of nationals from the island nation travel to India for education and health reasons. Over the last few years, there were several complaints that India had asked many Maldivian nationals to leave the country because they had overstayed their visa.

25 - Four Joint development projects inaugurated by India and Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated four projects, via video conferencing, in the areas of transport, health and education.

Speaking on this occasion, Modi said these projects showed that India-Bangladesh relations are playing a key role in improving the quality of life of the people. He also expressed confidence that bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh would continue to grow even further.

26 - PINAKA Guided Weapons System Successfully Tested


Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test fired the PINAKA guided WEAPON rocket system from Pokhran range in Rajasthan.

The short range, guided Pinaka weapon system is equipped with a state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising an advanced navigation and control system.

According to the Defence Ministry, the weapon system impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies in all the missions. Telemetry Systems tracked and monitored the vehicle through the flight path.

27 - Dipa Karmakar Gets a Barbie Modelled After Her

Dipa Karmakar

Mattel, the toy manufacturing company behind Barbie, releases a Barbie that sports the iconic look the world remembers Dipa Karmakar for - becoming India’s first female gymnast to qualify for the final of the vault event at the Olympics.

This is a part of the company’s effort to increase the diversity of its Barbie and to respect women achievers across the globe.

Karmakar has won over 77 medals, including 67 gold ones at state, national and international levels. She also became India's first gymnast to win a gold medal at an international event - the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.

28 - Rice Knowledge Bank launched under World-bank project

World-bank Project

‘Rice Knowledge Bank - Assam’, an agriculture web portal dedicated to enhancing knowledge on rice production techniques and technologies, best production practices and state agriculture facts, was launched as part of the World Bank funded project- Assam Agri-business and Rural Transformation (APART).

According to an official communique the portal is the result of efforts of Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS, Autonomous body of Govt of Assam); Assam Agricultural University (AAU); with technical assistance from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

29 - Railways Minister announces new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh

Railway Zone Andhra Pradesh

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal announced a new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh. The new railway zone -- Southern Coast Railway -- will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam.

The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway. The cost of creating infrastructure for a new zone is around Rs. 205 crore.

Currently, India has 18 zones and the 68 divisions. South Coast Railway zone is the newest zone in India.

The Northern Railways is the largest railway zone in India. It is the northernmost zone of the Indian Railways. Its headquarter is New Delhi Railway Station.

30 - PM Modi launches 'One Nation, One Card' for transport mobility

PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including metro services and toll tax, across the country.

Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would allow the holders to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.

The Prime Minister launched the NCMC while inaugurating the first phase of the Ahmedabad metro train in Gujarat.

31 - Government brings transport scheme to boost agriculture exports

Government brings Transport Schemes

The government on Tuesday 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.

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).

32 - President presents Swachh Survekhshan-2019 Awards

Swachh Survekhshan Awards

President Ram Nath Kovind on 06th of March presented Swachh Survekhshan-2019 Awards in New Delhi. Indore bagged award for cleanest city for third straight year in Swachh Survekshan.

Top ranked cities received a statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi as 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.

33 - Women officers in Indian army to get permanent career option in 10 branches

Women Officers

Women will be eligible for permanent careers in all 10 branches of the army where they have been inducted as short-service commissioned (SSC) officers.

Until now, women officers were allowed permanent commission (PC) only in two branches: Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps.

The government has taken various measures to open more avenues for women in the armed forces, beginning with inducting them in the Indian Air Force’s fighter stream. That combat ban was lifted in October 2015.

34 - ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane: Museum on freedom struggle's unsung heroes opens in Red Fort

Azaadi Ke Diwane

"Azaadi Ke Diwane", a museum paying homage to the unsung heroes of Indian freedom struggle, was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in the Red Fort complex.

The museum talks about the sacrifices of great freedom fighters. It pays tribute to the selfless sacrifices of revolutionaries, brave female freedom fighters and valiant children, the Ministry of Culture said.

This is fifth in the series of museums inaugurated since January in the Red Fort, after Subhash Chandra Bose and INA museum, Yaad-e-Jallian museum, museum on 1857 (India's first war of Independence) and Drishyakala, a museum on Indian art.

35 - UK CM Rawat lays foundation stone for Doon-Mussoorie ropeway project

UK CM Rawat Lays

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has laid the foundation stone for the Dehradun-Mussoorie ropeway project which is considered to be a tourist novelty.

The 300-crore rupees’ ropeway project is expected to be completed in three years.

It will be one of the world's longest ropeways, and will shorten the one-hour zigzag drive to just 15 minutes from Purkul village the base camp at Dehradun to Mussoorie.

Poma, a French company which manufactures cable-driven projects, will provide the technical support to the ropeway which will be built on the PPP mode.

36 - Ancient tribal language Gondi to be taught in tribal districts of MP

Gondi Language

In Madhya Pradesh, ancient tribal language Gondi will be taught in tribal districts.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has decided to include Gondi in the primary education curriculum of the state's tribal-dominated districts.

The decision was taken keeping in the mind the rapid decline in the number of people who speak that tongue is a matter of concern.

37 - CCEA approves Rs 2,790 cr interest subvention on loans to sugar mills


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved Rs 2,790-crore interest subvention for extending loans by banks to sugar mills

The interest subvention is for extending loans of Rs 12,900 crore by banks to sugar mills under the scheme for extending financial assistance to sugar mills for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity.

38 - WCD signs MoU with Skill Development Ministry to provide skills training to women

Women and Child Development

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry and the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry entered into an agreement to provide skills training and employment to women.

The officials of the two ministries signed the agreement in the presence of WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

39 - Hardeep S Puri launches e-Dharti App

Hardeep S Puri

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep S Puri has launched e-Dharti app, a new online system to provide the facility of online application submission in connection with conversion, substitution and mutation of properties under the jurisdiction of Land and Development Office (L&DO) for the citizens.

e-Dharti Geo Portal, another important application on which L&DO has started working, is GIS-based mapping of all its 65,000 properties. Through this application each and every government property under L&DO, whether it is allotted or still lying vacant, is proposed to be mapped on the portal.

40 - Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Polls to be held in 7 phases, starting April 11

Lok Sabha

iPolling for the upcoming Lok Sabha 2019 elections will begin from 11 April and end on 19 May. The polling will happen in seven phases and the counting will take place on 23 May, the Election Commission (EC) announced today. The model code of conduct (MCC) kicks in right away across the country and will be in effect till results are announced in May. The code is in place to ensure a level playing field for all the contesting candidates and political parties.

Schedule of Lok Sabha polls:

Phase one 11th April 2019,
Phase two 18th April 2019,
Phase three 23rd April 2019,
Phase four 29th April 2019,
Phase five 06th May 2019,
Phase six 12th May 2019,
Phase seven 19th May 2019.

41 - Supreme Court forms 3-member team to resolve Ayodhya dispute

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court referred the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla and gave it eight weeks to complete the process.

The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said the panel should file a progress report of the proceedings within four weeks and complete the process within eight weeks.

42 - Insolvency And Bankruptcy Board Inks Cooperation Agreement With IFC

Bankruptcy Law

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group (WBG).

The agreement will enable IFC to assist IBBI to further build the capacity of insolvency professionals, and insolvency professional agencies for the purposes of the Code.

The Cooperation Agreement envisages technical assistance up to June 30, 2021 by the IFC to IBBI and covers assistance in −

  • Workshops and Training for Insolvency Professionals and Officers of the IBBI

  • Train the Trainers for Workshops for Insolvency Professionals

  • Development of National Insolvency Programme

  • Insolvency and valuation examination.

43 - 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships Held In New Delhi

India-Africa Project

The 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships concluded in New Delhi. The three-day conclave was organised by the Ministry of Commerce inassociation with Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank of India.

This conclave marked the pre-eminence of India-Africa partnership in the realm of South - South Cooperation at a time when the global economy is faced with intractable challenges that stem from rising protectionism and trade conflicts.

The India-Africa bilateral partnership is further augmented by India’s ascendency as the growing major economy, as well as Africa’s new economic dynamism illustrated by some of the sub-Saharan economies featuring among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

44 - Madhya Pradesh Government Increases Reservation Quota of OBCs to 27%

CM Kamal Nath

With General Election likely to be announced soon, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has taken the ordinance route to increase reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from 14 per cent to 27 per cent.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath had made an announcement to this effect on March 6 while handing over loan waiver certificates to farmers in Sagar.

Governor Anandiben Patel signed the ordinance to amend the Madhya Pradesh Lok Seva (Anusuchit Jatiyon, Anusuchit Jan Jatioyon aur Anya Pichhade Vargon ke Liye Arakshan) Adhiniyam, 1994.

45 - Kerala's Marayoor Jaggery wins Geographical Indication Tag

Marayoor Jaggery

The Marayur jaggery has finally got the geographical indication (GI) tag, making it safe for consumption while rejuvenating the traditional way of production and ensuring a safe market in future.

It has been a long-term demand of farmers in Marayur and Kanthallur grama panchayats, where jaggery is produced without adding any chemicals. Though the Marayur jaggery has always been known for its high quality, fake jaggery with a salty taste was being marketed as Marayur jaggery.

46 - Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated Refurbished Handloom Haat in New Delhi

Smriti Irani

The refurbished Handloom Haat was inaugurated by Textiles Minister Smriti Irani at Janpath, New Delhi. The Haat aims to provide infrastructural support to handloom agencies so that they can enhance their sales of handloom products and provide a platform to display a wide variety of handloom products that are produced all over the country.

47 - Odisha goverment initiated "Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata" for craftsmen

Odisha Goverment

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Karigar Sahayata’ for financial assistance to craftsmen. The nodal department of the scheme is the Directorate of handicrafts. Craftsmen with 10 years of experience and having annual income below Rs.1 lakh are eligible to get an assistance of Rs.800 per month.

48 - Govt. working on a new scheme for unorganized food processing sector: Gram Samridhi Yojana

Gram Samridhi Yojana

Gram Samridhi Yojana, a Rs 3,000 crore scheme funded by the World Bank and the Government of India, is being worked upon by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in order to strengthen the unorganised food processing sector concentrated in rural areas. World Bank will be giving Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore will be borne by the Centre while state governments will put in Rs 500 crore.