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Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs Today 24th March 2020. These are important for the upcoming Exams. Candidates who were preparing for the examination can use these current affairs and also you can download the same as PDF.

Current Affairs Today – 24th March 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  • World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24 March.
  • International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed on 24 March.
  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that debit cardholders could withdraw cash from any other bank’s ATM free of charge for the next three months.
  • Karur Vysya Bank has launched India’s 1st pre-paid card Enkasu (My cash in Tamil) in Karur, Tamil Nadu under its Quit cash movement.
  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced various statutory and regulatory compliance relief measures amid a complete shutdown almost all over the country to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection.
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) issued guidelines for timely credit of monthly Pension to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) pensioners.
  • “Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit” has become the first ‘Made in India’ COVID19 Test Kit to get the CDSCO approval.
  • The Ministry of information and broadcasting, GoI, directed Chief Secretaries of all state governments and Union territories to ensure the operational continuity of all print and electronic media.
  • The Central government directed all public and private companies to ensure that they do not cut the salaries of their staff during the lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has set up India’s first COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Mumbai.
  • The Government of United Kingdom (UK) has become the first co-chair of the Governing Council on the India-led global climate initiative ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)’,which was created by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on September 23, 2019 during the UN (United Nations) Climate Summit in New York, US(United States).
  • Tamil Nadu state government has announced an Rs.3,280 crore special relief package aginst COVID-19 on 24 March.
  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. He took oath for the fourth time as Chief Minister.
  • The Gujarat Police is now equipped with taser guns as a part of their modernization drive to ensure public safety and security.
  • Canada has become the first country in the world to withdraw from Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • Award-winning businesswoman Savita Chhabra has launched her first novel titled ‘Legacy of Learning’. Savita Chhabra is the chairperson at Hygienic Research Institute Private Limited (HRIPL).
  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named Hillel Furstenberg from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Gregory Margulis from Yale University, the USA as winners of the Abel Prize 2020.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March

  • World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24 March.
  • The aim is to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social, and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

Theme:

  • The theme of the 2020 World Tuberculosis Day is “It’s time.”

Extra Shots:

World Tuberculosis Day:

  • The date, 24 March, marks the day when Dr.Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium that causes TB in 1882. The discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed on 24 March

  • International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed on 24 March.
  • The day pays tribute to those who have devoted their lives to and lost their lives in the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.

History:

  • The day is observed to pay tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. He was murdered on 24 March 1980.

BANKING AND FINANCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Centre announces free ATM withdrawals for 3 months

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that debit cardholders could withdraw cash from any other bank’s ATM free of charge for the next three months.

Highlights:

  • There will not be any minimum balance requirement fee in the bank accounts. The announcement comes as lockdown, and the curfew is in place in many parts of India amid coronavirus pandemic.
  • Centre has also waived minimum bank charges for savings bank accounts.
  • Finance Ministry is also working on an economic package that will be announced soon in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Karur Vysya Bank launches pre-paid card “Enkasu”

  • Karur Vysya Bank has launched India’s 1st pre-paid card Enkasu (My cash in Tamil) in Karur, Tamil Nadu under its Quit cash movement.
  • The card functions based on Near Field Communication Technology (NFC) in a semi closed-loop & the customers buying this card can make ‘tap & go’ payments for even small purchases to merchants from an amount of Rs. 1 to doing away with the need for cash & small change.
  • These cards are special in the sense that it can be accepted ‘online’ & ‘offline’ as well.
  • KVB customers can recharge the card through various ways including the bank’s mobile App ‘DLite’, UPI (Unified Payments Interface), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) or through its all 7 branches in Karur.
  • Non-customers of the bank can also get this card even if they do not have a bank account anywhere but with the condition of ensuring KYC guidelines.

Extra Shots:

Karur Vysya Bank (KVB):

  • Headquarters: Karur, Tamil Nadu
  • MD & CEO: Mr. P. R. Seshadri
  • Tagline: Smart Way to Bank

ITR, GST filing, Aadhaar-PAN linking deadlines extended: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced various statutory and regulatory compliance relief measures amid a complete shutdown almost all over the country to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection.
  • The last date for filing belated income tax return (ITR) for the FY 2018-19 has been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020.
  • The deadline for filing returns of goods and services tax (GST) for March, April and May this year has also been extended till June 30.
  • The government has also extended the last date for linking PAN card with Aadhaar from March 31 to June 30.
  • Bank account holders do not need to worry about maintaining a minimum monthly balance as non-maintenance charges will be waived off for three months.
  • ATM withdrawals from any bank ATMs will also be free for debit card holders for the next 3 months.

EPFO issued directions for timely credit of monthly Pension to EPS pensioners

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) issued guidelines for timely credit of monthly Pension to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) pensioners.

Highlights:

  • India has announced lockdowns in several parts of the nation due to the pandemic coronavirus.
  • The Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) directed the field offices of EPFO to generate and reconcile pensioners’ details and pension amount statements for the current month by 25 March to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the pensioners.
  • He directed that the same should be forwarded to the banks in advance so that the monthly pension is credited into the account of the pensioners in time.
  • The EPFO is disbursing monthly pension to over 65 Lakh pensioners every month under the Employees’ Pension Scheme.

Extra Shots:

EPFO: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (abbreviated to EPFO), is an organization tasked to assist the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund a statutory body formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

  • Founded: 4 March 1952, New Delhi
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • AUM: 11 Lakh Crore ($157 Billion USD)
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Type of business: Central-Owned

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

1st ‘Made in India’ COVID19 Test Kit gets CDSCO approval

  • “Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit” has become the first ‘Made in India’ COVID19 Test Kit to get the CDSCO approval.
  • Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has given the commercial approval to the COVID-19 diagnostic test kit made by Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd which is also known as the Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
  • Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd is a Pune-based molecular diagnostics company which has developed the first made-in-India diagnostic test kit for COVID-19.
  • The molecular diagnostics company has developed the COVID-19 test kit as per WHO/CDC guidelines.
  • This was acheived with an emphasis on ‘Make in India’ along with support from local and central government.

Centre directed states and UTs to ensure smooth operation of all print, electronic media

  • The Ministry of information and broadcasting, GoI, directed Chief Secretaries of all state governments and Union territories to ensure the operational continuity of all print and electronic media.
  • The announcement is because of the misinformation that stated newspapers might be carriers of infections, coronavirus.

Highlights:

  • The government stated that it is important to spread the news and awareness of coronavirus pandemic, to continue the proper functioning of all print and media networks to create awareness and to counter fake news.
  • The proper functioning of the media and networks is required to create awareness among people and to keep the nation updated on the latest status.
  • False and fake news need to be avoided, and good practices need to be promoted, and these networks play a pivotal role in ensuring the same.
  • The Ministry also announced a list of critical infrastructure that should be kept running.

Centre asks employers not to cut the wages of employees amid the layoffs due to Coronavirus

  • The Central government directed all public and private companies to ensure that they do not cut the salaries of their staff during the lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
  • The announcement was made by the Secretary of the Labour Ministry, Heeralal Samariya.

Highlights:

  • The government has advised public and private enterprises not to terminate the services or reduce the wages of their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers.
  • It also stated that if any worker takes a leave, they should be deemed to be on duty without any deduction in wages.
  • The announcement comes amidst the cases of COVID-19 rise in the country, and several states have imposed lockdowns, restricting the movement of people even to their workplaces.

Reliance sets up India’s 1st COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Mumbai

  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has set up India’s first COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Mumbai.
  • Reliance Foundation opens this Hospital in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai.
  • This hospital is funded by Reliance Foundation, the COVID-19 facility includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross-contamination and helps control infection.

Highlights:

  • All beds are equipped with the required infrastructure, bio-medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
  • The foundation has also offered to set up special medical facilities to quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases through contact tracing to quickly augment additional facilities for isolation and treatment of infected patients.
  • RIL has also built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra.
  • Reliance Life Sciences is importing additional test kits and consumables for effective testing. Doctors and researchers are also working overtime to find a cure for this deadly virus.
  • RIL is also helping authorities and working for effective testing of the virus. RIL has also announced initial support of Rs 5 crores to Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to combat coronavirus spread.
  • The company has deployed the combined strengths of Reliance Foundation, reliance Retail, Jio, Reliance Life Sciences, Reliance Industries and all 6 lakh members of the Reliance family on the action plan against COVID-19.
  • The company is enhancing its production capacities to produce 100,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment for the nation’s health workers to equip them further to fight coronavirus.
  • Reliance Foundation also promised to provide free meals to people across various cities in partnership with NGOs to offer necessary livelihood relief in the current crisis situation.
  • RIL’s Jio is collaborating with Microsoft Teams to support social distancing and its groceries will remain open to provide essential items to people.

Extra Shots:

RIL: Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Reliance owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.

  • CEO: Mukesh Ambani
  • Owner: Mukesh Ambani (47.35%)
  • Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani

UK becomes 1st co-chair of India-led global climate initiative ‘CDRI’

  • The Government of United Kingdom (UK) has become the first co-chair of the Governing Council on the India-led global climate initiative ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)’,which was created by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on September 23, 2019 during the UN (United Nations) Climate Summit in New York, US(United States).
  • The secretariat of the Coalition will be in New Delhi.

Highlights:

  • The UK, which is going to host crucial UN climate change conference 2020 (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2020, has confirmed as co-chair during first council meeting of the body over video-conference attended by UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Alok Sharma and India’s P K Mishra, the Prime Minister’s principal secretary.
  • The global Coalition-CDRI is a voluntary international grouping, associating governments, UN (United Nations) bodies, banks, private sector entities, and academia to prepare the world to face the issue of extreme weather events due to climate change.
  • India will offer financial assistance of Rs 480 crore to the CDRI to help support research projects, establish secretariat and meet the recurring expenditure for a period of 5- years from 2019-20 to 2023-24.

Extra Shots:

CDRI’s Governing Council:

  • It is the highest policy-making body of CDRI and co-chaired by India and a representative of another national government nominated every 2 years.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

TN govt announced Rs.3,280 crore special relief package against Coronavirus

  • Tamil Nadu state government has announced an Rs.3,280 crore special relief package aginst COVID-19 on 24 March.
  • The information was announced by the State Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy.

Highlights:

  • The package includes cash assistance of Rs.1,000 each to rice ration card holders, autorickshaw drivers, and construction workers
  • The move by the TN state government is to provide succour for people whose livelihood has taken a hit due to preventive measures against Coronavirus
  • The plan will cover vulnerable sections. People having ‘rice’ ration cards will get Rs.1,000 each, and all cardholders shall get essential commodities, including rice, dhal, cooking oil, and sugar, free of cost in April.
  • Also, registered pavement hawkers will also get Rs.1,000 assistance
  • People who have worked under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will get two-day additional special wages.
  • Families of migrant labourers, construction workers, and autorickshaw drivers will be given 15 kg rice, 1 kg dhal, and cooking oil for free.
  • The relief will be distributed at the Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets through a token system at an appointed day and time to avoid crowding.

Extra Shots:

Tamilnadu

  • Capital: Chennai
  • Chief Minister: Edappadi K.Palanisamy
  • Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
  • Chief Justice of Madras High Court: Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani
  • National Park: Guindy NP,Gulf of Mannar Marine NP, Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) NP,             Mudumalai NP, Mukurthi NP.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan takes oath as Madhya Pradesh CM

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. He took oath for the fourth time as Chief Minister.
  • He was sworn in by Governor Lalji Tandon at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal.
  • Chouhan was sworn in the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh thrice earlier in 2005 after Uma Bharti stepped down over a riots case and for later two full terms in 2008 and 2013.
  • He stepped down after the Congress won a narrow majority in the December 2018 Assembly elections, after which the Kamal Nath government came to power.

Extra Shots:

Madhya Pradesh:

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Governor: Lalji Tandon
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

Gujarat Police becomes 1st state police to introduce taser guns

  • The Gujarat Police is now equipped with taser guns as a part of their modernization drive to ensure public safety and security.
  • By introducing the taser guns as part of police weapons, Gujarat becomes the first state in India.
  • The taser guns (electrical weapon) use compressed nitrogen to fire, by sending electricity through attached wires, which disrupt voluntary control of muscles.
  • Taser guns have been introduced to find an alternative between “ineffective lathis” and “deadly guns”.
  • The taser guns were used in agencies such as the UK Metropolitan Police, the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department.

Extra Shots:

Gujarat:

  • Capital: Gandhinagar
  • Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
  • Governor: Acharya Devvrat
  • State formed on: 1 May 1960
  • Literacy Rate: 79.31%
  • National Park: Vansda NP, Blackbuck NP, Gir Forest NP, Marine NP, Gulf of Kutch

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

Canada withdraws from Tokyo 2020 Olympics

  • Canada has become the first country in the world to withdraw from Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • The decision has been taken in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Canadian Olympic Committee announced that holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as per schedule would threaten the health of its athletes.
  • The International Olympic Committee is expected to take a decision on the fate of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in four weeks’ time as the whole world is battling with COVID-19 disease threat.
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics was scheduled to be held in Japan from 24th July to 9th August 2020.
  • Miraitowa is the official mascot of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Extra Shots:

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multi-sport event originally scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, with preliminary events in some sports beginning on 22 July.

  • Start date: 2021 Trending
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Athletes: 11,091 (expected)
  • Stadium: New National Stadium
  • Opening: 24 July
  • Nations: 206 (expected)

BOOKS & AUTHORS

A book title ‘Legacy Of Learning’ authored by Savita Chhabra released

  • Award-winning businesswoman Savita Chhabra has launched her first novel titled ‘Legacy of Learning’. Savita Chhabra is the chairperson at Hygienic Research Institute Private Limited (HRIPL).
  • This novel offers simplistic and relatable interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita in an attempt to connect the youth of India to the age-old, but relevant scriptures.
  • The novel introduces readers to the importance of performing good karma and nudges them to be conscious of the purpose of their lives in every decision they make.

AWARDS

The Abel Prize Laureates 2020 announced

  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named Hillel Furstenberg from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Gregory Margulis from Yale University, the USA as winners of the Abel Prize 2020.
  • They share the prize & the amount of Norwegian Krone 7.5 Million (USD 8.3400).
  • They are awarded for their “pioneering use of methods from probability & dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics”.
  • They used probabilistic methods & random walks techniques to solve deep problems in diverse areas of mathematics.
  • Hillel Furstenberg hails from Berlin.
  • He is the winner of the Israel Prize for exact sciences and the Wolf Prize in mathematics.
  • Gregory Margulis hails from Moscow, in 1978 he won the Fields Medal at 32 years old but did not receive the medal in Helsinki due to the refusal of Soviet authorities & is the winner of the Lobachevsky Prize and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics.

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