Weekly Current Affairs March 2019 - Week 2nd

Weekly Current Affairs March 2019 - Week 2nd
15-March 2019 2.00

We Defence Guru have given weekly Current Affairs capsule for March 2019. Current Affairs is an important part of defence and other competitive exams. Here We are sharing Weekly Current Affairs 08 March - 14 March 2019, collection of important news and events. These News are highly important for various competitive exams and interviews.

Weekly Current Affairs March 2019

  1. Naresh Lokesh

Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokes has been recognised as the Young Global Leader, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). The list has 127 of the world's most promising social activists, business leaders, public servants, artists and technologists under the age of 40. The individuals are expected to take part in the five year-programme that will help them to identify new ways to learn new ideas. Lokesh is the minister of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications in Andhra Pradesh.

2.C Lalsawta

Retired IAS officer C Lalsawta becomes the first Lokayukta of Mizoram. Governor Jagdish Mukhi administered him the oath of office at the Raj Bhawan in Aizawl. Lalsawta is a 1981 batch Bihar cadre IAS officer. He was the principal secretary of the finance department in the state from 2008 to 2011.

3. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has been reappointed as the coach of Real Madrid. Madrid said in a statement that Zidane has been given a contract until June 2022. His reappointment comes just nine months after he resigned at the end of last season, having led Madrid to a historic third consecutive Champions League triumph. Real Madrid is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid.

4. Mohammad Shtayyeh

Mohammad Shtayyeh has been named as Palestinian Prime Minister by President of Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas. He is a member of the West Bank's dominant Fatah party is a long time ally of Abbas. The announcement comes six weeks after Rami al-Hamdallah tendered his resignation from the post and of his unity government to President Mahmoud Abbas. Shtayyeh, a former government minister, has been part of a number of Palestinian negotiating teams in the United States-brokered talks with Israel and is a former Minister.

Capital of Palestinian: Jerusalem

5. E. Sreedharan

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor administration has approved the appointment of "Metro Man" E. Sreedharan as the principal advisor to two mass rapid transit systems to be built in Jammu and Srinagar. The governor administration has approved setting up of two MRTCs Jammu Mass Rapid Transit Corporation and the Srinagar Mass Rapid Transit Corporation for the two capital cities.

Sreedharan is a retired IES (IRSE) officer and is popularly known as the "Metro Man". He is known for changing the face of public transport in the country with his leadership of building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro.

6. Sitanshu Kar

Sitanshu Ranjan Kar was given a six-month extension as principal director general of the Press Information Bureau (PIB). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the re-employment of Kar. He was scheduled to retire on March 31. Kar, a 1983-batch officer of the Indian Information Service (IIS), had taken over as principal director general of the PIB in May last year.

7. Anup Kumar Dubey, Sushil Kumar

Senior bureaucrats Anup Kumar Dubey and Sushil Kumar were appointed special directors in the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Both Dubey and Kumar are Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) officers. Dubey has been appointed as Special Director, ED in Delhi and Kumar in Chennai. The Directorate of Enforcement is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.

8. Ausaf Sayeed

Dr Ausaf Sayeed, presently High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles, has been appointed as the next ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia. The Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1989 batch, Sayeed will succeed Ahmad Javed. Javed had been serving as envoy to Saudi Arabia since December 2015. Mr Sayeed served as Ambassador to Yemen and Consul General of India in Chicago and Jeddah.

9. Soumya Swaminathan

Soumya Swaminathan, a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation(WHO) has been named Chief Scientist of the WHO. As Deputy Director-General Programmes (DDP), she was one of the three DDGs assisting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom. She was the first Indian to hold the post.

WHO : Points to Remember

  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founded: 7 April 1948
  • Head: Tedros Adhanom

10. Anant Ambani

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat appointed industrialist Mukesh Ambani's son Anant as a member of Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee. It has been noticed that Ambanis visit the holy shrines every time something important comes up in the family. Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is Located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in the state of Uttarakhand. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open to the general public only between the months of April and November.

11. Padma awards

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Padma awards at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Fifty-six of the 112 personalities, who were selected for this year's Padma awards conferred the honour at a special function. The remaining awardees are likely to be conferred the honour at another function to be held later this month.

Folk Singer from Chhattisgarh Teejan Bai, President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh, Noted author and Maratha history scholar Babasaheb Purandare and executive chairman of L&T Anil Kumar Manibhai Naik are recipients of Padma Vibhushan this year. Fourteen persons for Padma Bhushan and Ninety Four Padma Shri have been selected. These awards were announced on the eve of Republic Day.

12. The Coveted Golden Peacock Award for Innovative Product

ACKO General Insurance a new-age digital insurance company, was awarded the coveted Golden Peacock Innovative Product Award - 2019. Acko introduced the revolutionary Ola Ride Insurance - a first of its kind in the Indian market - in March 2018. The Ola Re. 1 ride insurance is a contextual microinsurance solution that protects the user against any unfortunate mishaps while commuting, providing benefits in cases of loss of baggage/laptops, missed flights, accidental medical expense, ambulance transportation cover, and much more.The Golden Peacock Awards for Corporate Leadership and Excellence are regarded as a benchmark of business excellence, both locally and globally.

13. Nari Shakti awards on International Women's day

President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Nari Shakti awards 2018, in New Delhi. The highest civilian honours for women in India were presented on the occasion of International Women's Day.Forty-One individuals and three institutions were given the award. Ministry of Women and Child Development confers Nari Shakti Puraskar to women and institutions in recognition of their relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare.


14. Kelly Catlin

Kelly Catlin, a member of the U.S. women's pursuit team that earned a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, has died at age 23. Catlin earned three consecutive world championship titles with the U.S. women's pursuit team from 2016-2018. She also raced with the Rally UHC Pro Cycling team on the road.


15. Suresh Prabhu: “Cruising New Heights- Flying For All”

Suresh Prabhu releases a Coffee Table Book: “Cruising New Heights- Flying For All” on achievements of Ministry of Civil Aviation. Book will serve as reference material on challenges, reforms agenda, performance and highlights and future roadmap. It also lists steps taken by the government to infuse investments for infrastructure development and adding capacity in the aviation sector.


16. Special Olympics World Games 2019 makes history

Special Olympics World Games 2019 which are being held from March 14 to March 21 in UAE, has made history by welcoming a record-breaking 200 nations ahead of the Games. Of the 200 nations, 195 will compete in the Games and five will observe. It is a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement. It is being held in West Asia for the first time. 7,500 athletes will take part in 24 Olympic-style sports over seven days. Saudi Arabia will send female athletes for the first time, with 14 women participating.


17. 5th SAFF Women's Championship

The 5th South Asian Football Federation Women's Championship begins at Sahid Rangashala in Biratnagar, Nepal. Among the South Asian nations, India rank on top followed by Nepal. India clinched all four of the previous SAFF Women's Championship titles, leaving Nepal to finish second in the first three editions. The current SAFF members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

18. Finland boxing tournament

Kavinder Singh Bisht in the 56kg-category struck gold medal at the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki. This was his maiden international gold after making the jump to bantamweight. Apart from Bisht, Shiva Thapa, Govind Sahani, Mohammed Hussamuddin and Dinesh Dagar won the silver medals at the tournament. Also, Sumit Sangwan, former youth world champion Sachin Siwach and Naveen Kumar got bronze in their categories.


19. Asian regatta

Mumbai sailor Upamanyu Dutta bagged the bronze medal in the Laser Standard race for men in the Laser Asian Sailing Championship in Singapore. Also, Nethra Kumanan of Chennai achieved a creditable 4th position in the Laser Radial event for women. Upamanyu entered the event in Singapore as one of the favoured contenders who won the Euromed Championship in Malta last month. The young sailor sailed superbly to gain India's first ever medal in the competitive single-handed Laser Standard category.


20.World Kidney Day: 14 March, 2019

The World Kidney Day 2019 is being observed on March 14, 2019. This Day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March .It aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys. Theme: ‘Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere’. As per the World Health Organisation, kidney diseases are responsible for almost 1.5 per cent of the current global burden of disease and for 2.1 per cent of the total deaths. It is the 12th leading cause of death globally.

21. China blocks bid to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in UNSC

China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist". Just before the deadline, China put a ‘technical hold’ on the proposal. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27. The diplomat said China asked for more time to examine the proposal. The technical hold is valid for up to six months and it can be again extended by up to three months.

22. UK Parliament rejects Theresa May's deal for the second time

British Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal for a second time. Only 17 days are due before its split from the European Union. Even after May secured further guarantees from Brussels over its most controversial elements the House of Commons voted by 391 to 242 to reject the deal. Following the rejection of the deal second time, the Members of Parliament have been promised another vote, wherein they can decide whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal. Britain is scheduled to end ties with its biggest trade partner, EU, after 46 years on March 29.This move can throw the nation into a state of economic chaos.

23. India's envoy to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria returned to Islamabad

India's High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria reached Islamabad. He has completed his consultations in New Delhi where he was called following the Pulwama attack. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14. India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot on February 26.

24. International Women's Day: 8 March

International Women's Day is being observed on 8 March across the world. NGOs and other organisations across the world observe the day on the 8th of March every year to highlight the achievements of women. The theme for this year's women's day is 'Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change'. The purpose of the theme is to achieve gender equality by putting innovation by women and girls.


25. The United States to set up six nuclear power plants in India

India and the US said they have agreed to build six American nuclear power plants in India, in a boost to bilateral civil nuclear energy cooperation. The two countries said this in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 9th round of India-US Strategic Security Dialogue. India and the US signed a historic agreement to cooperate in the civil nuclear energy sector in October 2008. The United States also reaffirmed its strong support to India’s early membership in the 48-member NSG.

26. Indo-Oman joint military exercise commence

A joint military exercise between India and Royal Army of Oman commenced at Jabel regiment headquarters, Nizwa, Oman. Exercise Al Nagah 2019 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other's military as also facilitate in tackling the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism. A 60-member strong Indian Army contingent, based in northern command headquarters at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, is taking part in the military exercise 'Al-Nagah III. The exercise is scheduled to end on March 25 at Jabel Al Akhdar mountains.

28. U.S. Special Forces hold an exercise with NSG in Hyderabad

The United States Special Forces Group stationed in Japan involved in a joint exercise with India's National Security Guard in Hyderabad. The US forces are from the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group stationed out of Okinawa in Japan. The overall aim of the program was to enhance professionalism and the ability to operate together during times of crisis.

29. Areca nut gets ‘Sirsi supari’ geographical indication tag

Arecanut (also known as supari or betel nut) is the latest entrant in the list of agricultural produce with a GI (geographical indication) tag. The Registrar of Geographical Indications, Government of India, accorded a GI tag, ‘Sirsi Supari’, to areca nut grown in Sirsi, Siddpaur of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. ‘Sirsi Supari’ is unique in taste from areca nuts grown in other parts of the country due to the differences in the chemical composition of different areca nuts. The World Intellectual Property Organisation defines GI as a search sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities due to that origin.

30. DGCA decides to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA has decided to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with immediate effect. The decision comes in the wake of Ethiopian Airlines crash in Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board. the planes will be grounded until appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. India joined the growing list of countries to have temporarily grounded the aircraft. Ethiopia, China, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and UK had earlier decided to suspend the Aircraft.

31. Google shut down its ‘Allo’ app

Google's smart messaging app, Allo, is finally shutting down. Starting from March 12, 2019, you will no longer be able to use the app for an exchange of smart replies. Launched in 2016, Allo was launched alongside the video chat service Duo. While Duo kicked off, Allo didn't make it big with the masses.


32. 34th edition of AAHAR - International Food and Hospitality fair-begins in New Delhi

The 34th edition of AAHAR - the International Food and Hospitality fair begins at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the fair. The fair will feature a wide range of food products, machinery, hospitality and Decoration and Confectionery items. Around 20 countries, including the US, Russia, China, UK, Germany, Italy and Singapore will participate in the five-day fair.

33. PM Modi, Bangladesh counterpart jointly inaugurate development projects

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, jointly unveiled e-plaques for development projects in Bangladesh, through video conferencing. Both the leaders unveiled e-plaques for the supply of buses and trucks, the inauguration of 36 community clinics and 11 water treatment plants. Extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh will also boost the knowledge connectivity between the two countries.

34. India's internet base crosses 500 million mark

The internet user base in India has exceeded 500 million mark according to a newly released Kantar IMRB ICUBE report. It is likely to reach 627 million by the end of 2019. The number of internet users is estimated to be 566 million as of December 2018, registering an annual growth of 18%. The report finds that 87% of the total user base, or 493 million Indians, are defined as regular users, having accessed the internet in the last 30 days. Of this, 293 million active internet users reside in urban India, while there are 200 million active users in rural India.

35. Guided weapons system, PINAKA successfully test fired

Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired the Guided PINAKA from Pokhran ranges. The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising of an advanced navigation and control system. The indigenously developed Guided Pinaka by DRDO will significantly boost the capability of the artillery to make precision hits.

36. Megha Engineering enters Limca records

Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) has made it into Limca Book of National Records and Asia Book of Records for completing a power sub-station in a record time of 7 months. NP Kunta sub-station was taken up to connect Ultra Mega Solar Power Plant built in Ananthapur with Power Grid, to facilitate the supply of 1500 MW of electricity. The infrastructure major managed to complete the project five months ahead of the scheduled deadline fulfilling all the quality parameters. Normally it takes 15-18 months for execution of such projects, but MEIL completed it within 7 months.


37. 17th Lok Sabha elections to be held in 7 phases

The Election Commission of India (EC) on March 10 announced the schedule for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Polling will be held in seven phases starting April 11 and will conclude on May 19. Counting of votes will happen on May 23. The poll panel also announced the Assembly election schedule for four states. Chief Election Commissioner of India: Sunil Arora .Election commission of India was formed on 25 January 1950, which is now celebrated as National Voters Day.

38. CISF celebrated its 50th Raising Day

Central Industrial Security Forces is celebrated its 50th raising on 10 March 2019. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, attended the 50th Raising Day ceremony of Central Industrial Security Forces(CISF), at Ghaziabad. The CISF, one of six paramilitary forces in the country, functions under the Union Home Ministry and is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. Raised in 1969, the 1.56 lakh strong force provides security to 345 vital installations including 61 airports, seaports, nuclear and space installations, Delhi Metro and different steel and power plants. The Special Security Group (SSG) of CISF provides security to 83 categories of protectees.

39. Kerala's Marayur jaggery gets GI tag

Marayur organic jaggery produced at Marayur in the hilly district of Idukki in Kerala has bagged Geographical Indication tag. Marayur jaggery is known especially for its organic and traditional production using the sugar cane cultivated in the region. It does not contain any chemicals and is high in iron and calcium. The sugar cane plantations are spread over several acres at Marayur. The Centre granted the GI tag considering various aspects of its manufacturing and the peculiarities of the region.

Points to Remember

  • Governor: P. Sathasivam
  • Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
  • State Animal: Indian Elephas
  • State Bird: Great-Hornbill

40. PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology at Greater Noida

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology has been built at an estimated cost of Rs. 289 crore is spread over 25 acres. The 3 star ultra modern green building of the Institute is equipped with all latest technologies. The Institute comprises of an auditorium with seating capacity of 1000 people, an open air theatre and an Archaeological Museum. The Institute of Archaeology (IA) is an academic wing of ASI under the Ministry of Culture.

41. MP government issues ordinance to give 27% quota to OBCs

The state government in Madhya Pradesh has issued an ordinance raising reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) to 27 per cent from the present 14 per cent. The ordinance was sent to Governor Anandiben Patel for her assent on. The ordinance could be issued before the Lok Sabha poll model code of conduct comes into effect. With this, MP is possibly the only state in the country to have 27 per cent quota for OBCs.

42. MoU inked for digitising work of Indian railways

An MoU was signed between Indian Railways and public sector telecom firm RailTel for implementing the e-office system aimed at digitising the work of the national transporter. RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways, has taken up the work of implementing the e-office system for Indian Railways. E-Office project is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the national e-governance programme of the government. The project aims to usher in more efficient, effective and transparent inter-government and intra-government transactions and processes.

44. Mizoram Cabinet approves Liquor Prohibition Bill

The Mizoram Cabinet has approved the proposed liquor prohibition bill in the state. The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga approved the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill, 2019. The bill would be introduced in the state Assembly during the Budget session.There was total prohibition in Mizoram from 1997 till January 2015 with the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act in force in the state. The previous Congress government of Lal Thanhawla allowed opening of wine shops in the state from March 2015.

Points to Remember

  • Capital: Aizawl
  • Chief Minister: Zoramthanga
  • State Animal: Serow
  • Bird: Hume's pheasant

45. CCEA approves investment sanction for Kiru hydro project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the investment sanction for construction of Kiru Hydro Electric Project. The project is located on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir. It shall provide much-needed power in the northern grid and shall accelerate the process of development of remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4.5 years. The CCEA also approved the investment for 1320 Mega Watt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.

46. Govt reduces the price of 390 anti-cancer drugs up to 87 %

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers put out the list of 390 anti-cancer non-scheduled medicines with Maximum Retail Price reduction up to 87 per cent. The revised prices have come into effect from 8 March. On 27th February, the Pricing Authority had put 42 anti-cancer drugs under 30 per cent Trade Margin cap. This move is expected to benefit 22 lakh cancer patients in the country and will result in annual savings of nearly 800 crore rupees to the consumers.

47. Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns

Governor of Mizoram Kummanam Rajasekharan has resigned from his post. President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of Rajasekharan. Mr Kovind has appointed Jagdish Mukhi as the Governor of Mizoram, in addition to his own duties of Assam Governor, until regular arrangement for the office of the Governor of Mizoram is made.

48. India and ADB sign $26 Million Loan Agreement for Additional Financing to Assam Urban Project

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $26 Million Loan Agreement. It will provide additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program. The ongoing Loan of $51 Million under the Program is helping to improve water supply infrastructure in Guwahati, and solid waste management and drainage infrastructure in Guwahati and Dibrugarh cities of Assam. The additional financing will further support in improving the drainage system in Dibrugarh and also support project management activities.

Points to Remember: ADB

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Takehiko Nakao

49. RBI slaps penalties on 36 major banks

The Reserve Bank has imposed penalties worth Rs 71 crore on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance with various directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT operations. SWIFT is a global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities. The massive Rs 14,000-crore fraud at the PNB was a case of misuse of this messaging software. The RBI had carried out an assessment of compliance with its directions on implementation and strengthening of SWIFT-related operational controls of 50 major banks.


50. Hardeep S Puri launches ‘e-Dharti’ App

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri launched e-Dharti app where all the three modules- Conversion, Substitution and Mutation related to properties have been made online. The payment system in Land and Development Office, L&DO has also been completely digitized. The public can now submit their applications online by visiting the L&DO website. Mr Puri also launched e-Dharti GeoPortal, through which the lessee of the property will be able to see the basic details of property along with the map showing its location.

51. Ancient tribal language Gondi to be taught in tribal districts in Madhya Pradesh

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 rapid decline in the number of people who speak that tongue is a matter of concern. Hence, the Chief Minister stressed on the need to save it from becoming a thing of the past.

52. NGT imposes Rs 500 cr fine on Volkswagen

The National Green Tribunal slapped a fine of 500 Crore rupees on German auto major Volkswagen for damaging the environment using cheat device in its diesel cars in India. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the carmaker to deposit the amount within two months. The committee recommended a fine of over 171 crore rupees on Volkswagen for causing air pollution in Delhi and causing health damages due to excess nitrogen oxide emissions.


53. RBI to infuse Rs 12,500 crore via OMOs

The Reserve Bank of India, RBI has said it will infuse 12,500 crore rupees into the system through open market operations (OMOs). The central bank said that based on an assessment of prevailing liquidity conditions and also of the durable liquidity needs going forward, it will conduct the purchase of the government securities under open market operations. The purchase will happen through multi-security auction using the multiple price method. OMOs are money market tools to infuse or suck out liquidity from the system.

54. Industrial growth slows to 1.7% in January 2019

Industrial output growth stood at 1.7 per cent in January this year on account of slowdown in the manufacturing sector. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation data released, factory output as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 7.5 per cent in January last year. During April-January 2018-19, industrial output grew at 4.4 per cent as against 4.1 per cent in the same period previous fiscal.


55. PNB sanctions loans worth Rs 689 crore to 1,600 MSMEs

State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has sanctioned loans worth Rs 689 crore to over 1,600 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). It has sanctioned it through the ‘psbloansin59minutes.com’ portal as part of its effort to promote such industries. Under the Mudra Yojana, the bank has offered loan to over 2.69 lakh small entrepreneurs this fiscal (till February 14, 2019).

In November 2018, Hon'ble Prime Minister announced the launch of the 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. MSMEs through this portal can avail loans of up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes or less than an hour.

56. HDFC Bank becomes the 3rd company to cross Rs 6 lakh crore m-cap

India’s most valued lender HDFC Bank crossed the Rs 6 lakh crore-market capitalisation mark. The private sector bank becomes the third company after Reliance Industries and Tata Consultancy Services to achieve this feat. RIL is the most valued company in India with a market cap of Rs8.50 trillion, followed by TCS at Rs7.48 trillion.

Points to Remember: HDFC Bank

  • Managing Director: Aditya Puri
  • Founded: August 1994
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

57. SBI launches doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70 & differently-abled

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70 years of age and differently-abled customers. Eligible customers can avail this service at a nominal fee of 100 rupees per transaction for financial transactions and 60rupees for non-financial transactions. According to a statement, doorstep banking services are available to KYC account holders, with a valid mobile number registered with the bank and residing within 5 kilometres radius from their home branch. Cash pick up and deliver, check pickup, chequebook slip, life certificate and form 15 pickup are some of the services that will be provided.