Current Affairs Current Affairs March 2019

  State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has signed an agreement with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for cooperation in the development of solar power projects. The MoU aims at building a closer strategic partnership between the two Maharatna PSUs for jointly pursuing commercial solar power projects through participation in tariff / Viability Gap Funding (VGF) based competitive bidding process.
Source- The Livemint

  The third edition of the biennial, bilateral exercise AUSINDEX 19 between India and Australia will be held in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The upcoming exercise will focus on anti-submarine warfare and will see Australia’s largest defence force deployment in India.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

  Veteran journalist and academician Prafulla Rajguru passed away at the age of 82. Rajguru had retired as the head of the department of English from DCB Girls College in Jorhat in 1997. Rajguru authored four books and was a member of several social organizations like the Asom Sahitya Sabha.
Source- The Financial Express

  President Ram Nath Kovind has been conferred with the highest State honor of Bolivia, “Condor de Los Andes en el Grado de Gran Collar” during his visit to Bolivia. President of Bolivia Evo Morales awarded him the Honour at a function held in Santa Cruz. On the second day of President’s three-day visit to Bolivia, India and Bolivia signed eight MoUs in the fields of culture, Visa waiver arrangement for diplomats, exchange between diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and Bi-Oceanic Railway project. India offered a 100 million US Dollar Line of Credit to Bolivia for financing development projects. Both countries also agreed on the need for reform of the UN Security Council to make it reflective of contemporary realities. President is in Bolivia on the 2nd leg of his 3 nation tour. He is on a three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia, and Chile.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

  State-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has completed the acquisition of majority stake in REC Ltd by transferring Rs 14,500 crore to the government. The merger of both the entities will be completed in the next fiscal year in consultation with the government. This acquisition and merger will make PFC second-largest government-owned financial player in the country based on the current market capital after State Bank of India (SBI) and also PFC will be the third-highest profit-making financial player in India.
Source- Business Standard

  Swiss-based NRI scientist Dr Rajendra Joshi has been conferred with the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. The Indian Ambassador to Switzerland Sibi George handed over the award citation signed by the President to Dr Joshi at his residence in Switzerland.
Source- Business Standard

  Tashigang, a Himachal Pradesh village at an altitude of 15,256 feet has now become the highest polling station in the world. Situated about 29 km from the India-China border, the polling station covers two villages, Tashigang and Gate.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India has recently awarded Geographical Indication (GI) to five varieties of Indian coffee.
They are:
  • Coorg Arabica coffee,
  • Wayanaad Robusta coffee,
  • Chikmagalur Arabica coffee,
  • Araku Valley Arabica coffee,
  • Bababudangiris Arabica coffee.
  • In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98% are small farmers. Coffee cultivation is mainly done in the Southern States of India:
  • Karnataka – 54%
  • Kerala – 19%
  • Tamil Nadu – 8%
  • Coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North East States (1.8%).
    Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

     Russian cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, who made the first of his three flights to space in 1963, passed away at the age of 84 years. In June 1963, He first flew to space as a member of the Vostok-5 crew. He was a recipient of the Hero of the Soviet Union and Order of Lenin awards.
    Source: New York Post

      Wipro Limited (Bengaluru Based), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur), signed an MoU to collaborate on high-impact, industry-focused applied research in the areas of 5G and AI. Research outcomes from this partnership will be leveraged by Wipro to develop solutions for its customers, across industry verticals. IIT Kharagpur will benefit from the commercialization of the joint research insights and Wipro’s real-world industry expertise.
    Source- WIPRO


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