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Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs Today 25th 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 – 25th March 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is observed on 25 March.
  • International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is observed on 25 March.
  • The Hindu New Year 2077 began on 25 March.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a global recession in 2020.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has extended the last date for filing GST returns for March, April, and May to 30 June.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved for continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme from 1 April 2020.
  • India banned exports of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine on 25 March with immediate effect.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the complete lockdown of the entire nation, as part of government’s stringent efforts to tackle coronavirus disease Covid-19.
  • Google-owned video streaming giant “YouTube” has decided to reduce streaming quality for users in India until 31st March 2020.
  • Telugu New Year day ‘Ugadi’ being celebrated today.
  • Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri chosen for FIFA campaign against Covid-19.
  • Invest India launched a platform named “The Invest India Business Immunity Platform”.
  • Saudi Arabia proposed to convene a virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on 26 March.
  • Sameer Aggarwal has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walmart India.
  • US Marines and UAE Emirati forces conducted the biennial exercise, named Native Fury at Abu Dhabi.
  • Critically-acclaimed debut novelist Ruchika Tomar is the winner of the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, for “A Prayer for Travelers”.
  • International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) developed ultrafast laser surface texturing technology.
  • Scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun found that glaciers in Sikkim are melting at a higher magnitude as compared to other Himalayan regions.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is observed on 25 March

  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is observed on 25 March.
  • The day is observed every year.
  • The day provides an opportunity to honour and remember the people who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system.

Aim:

  • The International Day aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice in the world.

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is observed on 25 March

  • International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is observed on 25 March.
  • The day ais to remember the fallen personnel who served for the cause of peace in a violent world.
  • Since the United Nations’ founding, over 3,500 brave men and women have lost their lives in its service.

Aim:

  • The day aims to mobilize action, demand justice and strengthen staff in the non-governmental community and the press.

Hindu New Year began on 25 March

  • The Hindu New Year 2077 began on 25 March.
  • It is officially known as Vikram Samvat 2077 or Nav Samvatsar 2077.
  • In common language, it is also known as Hindu Panchang.
  • The Vikram era is extremely ancient and completely scientific.
  • As per the Hindu calendar, the new year of Vikram Samvat starts from Chaitra Shukla Pratipada Tithi.

Extra Shots:

History:

  • According to Vedic scriptures and Puranas, Lord Brahma created the universe. He created the world on the Pratipada date of the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month. The day is celebrated on the bright half of the month of Chaitra. Hence, the holy date is also celebrated as the ‘Nav Samvatsar’ festival. Also, Navaratri fast starts from this date.

BANKING AND FINANCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

IMF says COVID-19 might cause a global recession

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a global recession in 2020.
  • The recession could be worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
  • It is also expected that the world economic output should recover in 2021.
  • The information was passed by the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

Highlights:

  • Many countries have taken extraordinary measures to boost health systems and protect affected companies and workers.
  • Also, several steps have been taken by central banks of the countries to ease monetary policy.
  • The finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 (G20) of the world’s largest economies agreed on the need for solidarity across the globe.
  • IMF has asked all the countries to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage due to the COVID-19.
  • IMF asked its members to contribute funds to its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust in order to help the poorest countries.

Extra Shots:

IMF: The International Monetary Fund (IMF), is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world while periodically depending on World Bank for its resources.

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C. U.S.
  • Membership: 189 countries
  • Managing Director: Kristalina Georgieva
  • Chief Economist: Gita Gopinath

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Deadline for GST returns extended to 30 June

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has extended the last date for filing GST returns for March, April, and May to 30 June.
  • The previous date for filing of GST returns was March 31, 2020.
  • The deadline for composition returns on GST has been also been extended to 30 June 2020.

Highlights:

  • The companies with less than Rs.5 crore turnover will not be charged interest or penalty for the late filing of GST. Bigger companies with a turnover of more than Rs.5 crore will have have to pay the interest amount at 9% for delayed filing of GST. No late fee or penalty will be levied.
  • Also, the last date to opt for the compensation scheme has been extended to 30 June 2020.
  • The last date to file income tax returns (ITR) for Financial Year 2018-2019 has been extended to 31 June.
  • The deadline for Aadhar-PAN linking has also been extended to 30 June.
  • Centre has made customs clearance an essential service. Hence, it will continue to operate 24/7 till 30 June 2020.

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Cabinet approved the continuation of RoSCTL scheme from 1 April

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved for continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme from 1 April 2020.
  • Until then, the scheme will be merged with the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP). It is expected to make the textile sector competitive by rebating all taxes and levies that are currently not being rebated under any other mechanism.

RoSCTL Scheme:

  • RoSCTL Scheme is an export incentive that is offered on the basis of the Freight on Board (FOB) value of the export.
  • It will replace the Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) scheme.
  • The introduction for RoSCTL was notified by the Ministry of Textiles in March 2019.
  • RoSCTL will be implemented through a scrip-based system on the export of garments and made-ups.
  • Under the scheme, the rates were notified in four schedules. Schedules 1 and 2 specify the Central and State taxes and levies for apparel and made-ups. Schedules 3 and 4 will give the Central and State taxes applicable for apparel export when the fabric has been imported duty-free under the Special Advance Authorisation Scheme.
  • The scheme was introduced due to the increasing international pressure on export incentives provided by the Indian government.

Centre banned export of hydroxychloroquine drug

  • India banned exports of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine on 25 March with immediate effect.
  • The drug hydroxychloroquine is believed to have some positive effect on the treatment of the coronavirus.
  • But the exports from special economic zones (SEZs) and other GoI approved exporters, only, will be allowed to export the drug.

Aim:

  • The move by the government is aimed to prevent any scope for export of ventilators by alternate classifications, in view of the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in India.

Other measures:

  • GoI also banned exports of sanitizers on 24 March.
  • Centre extended the ban to ventilators, artificial respiratory apparatus, oxygen therapy apparatus and other breathing appliances to plug any loopholes in exports of these critical healthcare items during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Earlier, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) banned the export of surgical and disposable masks, all ventilators and textile raw material used for making masks with immediate effect.

India to be in lockdown for 21 days from 25 March 2020

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the complete lockdown of the entire nation, as part of government’s stringent efforts to tackle coronavirus disease Covid-19.
  • The entire country will be under lockdown from 25 March 2020.
  • This lockdown will be in place for 21 days.
  • This is the second time in a week when he addressed the country on the fast-spreading disease with flu-like symptoms that has infected more than 3.5 lakh people and killed over 16,000.

YouTube cuts video streaming quality in India

  • Google-owned video streaming giant “YouTube” has decided to reduce streaming quality for users in India until 31st March 2020.
  • In order to reduce strain on Internet networks during the coronavirus pandemic, Youtube has decided to temporarily default High Definition (HD) and ultra-High Definition (HD) streaming to Standard Definition (SD) content.
  • The above changes will be made by keeping the streaming to SD content at bitrates not higher than 480p on mobile networks.

Extra Shots:

YouTube is an American online video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. Wikipedia

  • CEO: Susan Wojcicki
  • Founded: 14 February 2005, San Mateo, California, United States
  • Parent organization: Google (2006–)
  • Revenue: 1,500 crores USD (2019)
  • Headquarters: San Bruno, California, United States
  • Founders: Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Telugu new  year day “Ugadi” being celebrated today

  • Telugu New Year day ‘Ugadi’ being celebrated today.
  • The festival is being celebrated across the two Telugu states, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to mark the beginning of the Hindu Lunar calendar.
  • Though the nation-wide lockdown due to coronavirus.

Extra Shots:

Andhra Pradesh:

  • Capital: Amravati
  • Chief Minister: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
  • Governor: Biswabhusan Harichandan

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Sunil Chhetri selected for FIFA campaign against Covid-19

  • Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri chosen for FIFA campaign against Covid-19.
  • FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up to combat the coronavirus by launching a new awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers.
  • The campaign titled ‘Pass the message to kick out coronavirus’ has been launched to combat the coronavirus.
  • The awareness campaign will be led by the 28 players, who will be involved in the video campaign to be published in 13 languages, include some of the best-known players like Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and World Cup winners like Philip Lahm, Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol.
  • The ‘Pass the message to kick out coronavirus’ campaign promotes five key steps for people to follow to protect their health in line with WHO guidance, focused on handwashing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.

Extra Shots:

FIFA: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is a non-profit organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and efootball. It is the highest governing body of football.

  • President: Gianni Infantino
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland
  • Founded at: Paris, France
  • Founded: 21 May 1904, Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, France
  • Senior Vice-President: Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa (AFC)
  • Subsidiaries: Confederation of African Football, United States Soccer Federation, Early Warning System GmbH

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

Invest India launched The Invest India Business Immunity Platform

  • Invest India launched a platform named “The Invest India Business Immunity Platform”.
  • The platform is hosted on the Invest India website.

Invest India Business Immunity Platform:

  • The Business Immunity Platform (BIP) has been designed as a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to COVID-19.
  • The platform operates 24/7.
  • The platform is dynamic and constantly provides an update about the pandemic.
  • The platform keeps a regular track of developments with respect to the virus and provides the latest information on various central and state government initiatives.
  • The platform will give access to special provisions, and answers and resolves queries through emails and on WhatsApp.
  • It is an active platform for business issues redressal with a team of dedicated sector experts and responds to queries at the earliest.
  • Invest India has also announced a partnership with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to respond and resolve queries for the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The Business Immunity Platform will help people get access to all the information they require while staying in the comfort of their homes due to the lockdown in the country.

Extra Shots:

Invest India:

  • Invest India was established in 2009. It is a national Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency. It functions under DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GoI. The organization works with several states/UTs of India to build capacity and bring the best global practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas.

Saudi Arabia proposed to convene virtual G20 Leaders Summit on 26 March

  • Saudi Arabia proposed to convene a virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on 26 March.
  • Saudi Arabia is to advance a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications.
  • Saud Arabia holds the chair. King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will chair Summit.

Summit Participants:

  • Leaders from countries namely Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland and several international organizations including United Nations (UN), World Bank Group (WBG), the World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Financial Stability Board (FSB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will participate in the summit.
  • Regional organizations will be represented by South Africa the Chair of the African Union (AU), Vietnam the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Arab Emirates the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Rwanda the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Extra Shots:

G20:

  • The G20 (Group of 20) is an international cooperation forum on financial and economic issues. It includes 19 of the world’s largest economies and the European Union. It is a primary platform for global economic governance.

APPOINTMENT

Sameer Aggarwal appointed as CEO of Walmart India

  • Sameer Aggarwal has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walmart India.
  • He will taker over as CEO from Krish Iyer with effect from 1st April 2020.
  • After assuming the charge as CEO of Walmart India, he will focus on building more digital, and omni-channel services at the retailer.
  • Sameer Aggarwal was promoted from Executive Vice-President to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Walmart India in January 2020.
  • Walmart India is presently operating 28 Best Price cash-and-carry stores in India.

Extra Shots:

Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31, 1969.

  • Owner: Walton family (51%)
  • CEO: Doug McMillon
  • Founder: Sam Walton

DEFENCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

US & UAE troops launch biennial exercise “Native Fury”

  • US Marines and UAE Emirati forces conducted the biennial exercise, named Native Fury at Abu Dhabi.
  • The biennial exercise, called Native Fury, shows the close ties between American forces and the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula home to Abu Dhabi.
  • The forces seize a sprawling model Middle Eastern city, a drill conducted amid tensions with Iran and despite the new coronavirus pandemic.
  • It also comes after the U.S. killed Iran’s most prominent general in a drone strike in January, and Tehran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack on American forces in Iraq.

Extra Shots:

UAE (Capital/Currency): Abu Dhabi/Dirham

  • President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

AWARDS

Novelist Ruchika Tomar wins Pen/hemingway Award 2020

  • Critically-acclaimed debut novelist Ruchika Tomar is the winner of the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, for “A Prayer for Travelers”.
  • It was published on July 9, 2019.
  • The Novel states about the friendship of 2 women which grows complicated until the relationship breaks apart and one of the friends disappear.
  • Ruchika Tomar hails from California & is currently working as a lecturer at Stanford University.

Extra Shots:

  • Mary Hemingway founded the award in 1976 to honour her late husband Ernest Hemingway who is an American journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and sportsman. The award honours the debut novel which is of extraordinary merit by an American author who has never published a full-length book of fiction. The award includes a prize of USD 25,000 & also a 1-month residency fellowship (includes all finalists & runner up) at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, worth USD 10,000.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ARCI developed technology to improve fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines

  • International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) developed ultrafast laser surface texturing technology.
  • The technology can improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines.

 Highlights:

  • Laser surface micro-texturing offers precise control of the size and shape.
  • The density of micro-surface texture features gains momentum as a way to control friction and wear.
  • The special feature of the technology is a pulsating laser beam creates micro-dimples or grooves on the surface of materials in a very controlled manner.
  • The texture traps wear debris when operating under dry sliding conditions. It provides effects like enhancing oil supply that can lower friction coefficients and may enable reduced wear rate. This will improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines.

Scientists say Sikkim glaciers are losing mass faster than other parts of the Himalaya

  • Scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun found that glaciers in Sikkim are melting at a higher magnitude as compared to other Himalayan regions.

Study Highlights:

  • The scientists assessed the response of 23 glaciers of Sikkim to climate change for the period of 1991-2015. It revealed that the glaciers in Sikkim have retreated and deglaciated significantly from 1991 to 2015.
  • Small-sized glaciers in Sikkim are retreating while larger glaciers are thinning due to climate change.
  • It stated that when compared to other Himalayan regions, the magnitude of dimensional changes and debris growth is higher in the Sikkim.
  • The western and central Himalaya glaciers are reported to have slowed down in recent decades, but the Sikkim glaciers have shown negligible deceleration after 2000.
  • It highlighted that the behavior of glaciers in the region seems to adopt different mechanisms to cope with the ongoing climatic changes.

Extra Shots:

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG):

  • WIHG is a research institute for the study of Geology of the Himalaya under the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, GoI. It was established in 1968. It is located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. It provides consultancy and advisory services to various organizations for geotechnical feasibility of major and minor hydel projects, site selection for bridges and their foundation, slope stability, and control of landslides, site selection for deep tubewells, among others.

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