Current Affairs March 08 and 09, 2019
1. International Women’s Day observed on 8 March
- International Women’s Day observed on 8 March every year to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women
- The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) this year, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.
- Achieving a gender-equal world requires social innovations that work for both women and men and leave no one behind.
2. RBI eases business guidelines for white label ATMs
- RBI has eased business guidelines for white label ATMs allowing companies that manage these machines to source cash directly from the central bank, offer non bank services like bill payments and advertise even non financial products in their premises.
- White label ATM Operators (WLAO), can now source cash directly from RBI offices and currency chests, and will no longer be dependent on sponsor banks for procurement of cash.
- The RBI has allowed the operators to source cash from any scheduled bank including rural and cooperative banks.
3. CM Mamata Banerjee announces plan to launch scheme to help youth set up business
- Chief minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled a new scheme to encourage entrepreneurship among youths.
- Youths who have passed out of ITI or other polytechnic institutes will be eligible to get financial support from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) department
- Under Yuvashree Arpan, 50,000 youths will receive financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each for setting up an enterprise. The Yuvashree I scheme is implemented by the state labour department.
4. United Bank of India signs Bancassurance deal with HDFC Life to serve its large customer base
- United Bank of India, one of India’s premier Nationalized Banks signed a Bancassurance deal with HDFC Life Insurance Company.
- United Bank has a strong presence in rural and semi-urban areas with over 2,000 branches and offices while HDFC Life is India’s largest non-bank promoted private life insurer.
- This corporate-agency partnership is significant as United Bank of India undertook a rigorous selection process and evaluated 18 private Life insurers and finally selected HDFC Life.
5. Income Tax exemption limit on gratuity doubled to Rs 20 lakh
- Income Tax exemption limit on gratuity has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from the existing Rs 10 lakh, a move that will benefit employees who are not covered by the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
- The latest enhancement of tax exemption limit on gratuity follows a government notification issued on March 29, 2018, under which the ceiling was increased from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh effective March 29, 2018.
- Gratuity is the monetary benefit provided by the employer to his/her employee for the services rendered by him during the period of employment.
6. Subhash Chandra Garg designated as Finance Secretary
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved designating Garg as the Finance Secretary.
- Garg, 58, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, has been working as the Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs since June 2017.
- As per the convention, the senior-most among the five secretaries in the Finance Ministry is designated as the Finance Secretary.
7. Soumya Swaminathan named Chief Scientist at WHO
- Soumya Swaminathan, a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation has been named Chief Scientist of the WHO.
- The new division is being seen as the fifth pillar to strengthen the WHO’s core scientific work, ensure quality and consistency of norms and standards.
- As Deputy Director-General Programmes (DDP), she was one of the three DDGs assisting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
8. Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik International Airport wins the prestigious ASQ award
- The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar has won the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award as the leading airport in size and region.
- The award is accorded on the basis of independent survey amongst passengers on various parameters of security, safety, experience, ambience, ease of availability and cleanliness, Hota stated.
- Chandigarh Airport, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore, SM Badaruddin II Airport in Indonesia, SS Kasim II Airport in Indonesia and Yichang Sanxia Airport in China were also chosen for the award.
9. Uttarakhand CM launches free milk scheme for anganwadi children
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched the Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana in Dehradun under which 2.5 lakh children at 20,000 Anganwadi kendras in the state will be given 100 ml milk twice a week for free.
- Flavoured, sweet, skimmed milk powder will be made available to the 20,000 Anganwadi kendras across the state under the Amrit Yojana.
10. Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns as Mizoram Governor
- Kummanam Rajasekharan, the Governor of Mizoram, has resigned and the President of India has accepted his resignation. Kummanam, the former Kerala State BJP president, had been sworn in as Mizoram Governor on May 25, 2018.
- President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Assam, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Mizoram is made.
- Kummanam contested the Assembly elections in 2016 from the Vattiyoorkavu constituency in Thiruvananthapuram.
11. Tamil Nadu's 16-year-old, P Iniyan, becomes India's 61st chess Grandmaster
- India got its 61st Grandmaster when P Iniyan defeated GM Fedorchuk at the ongoing Noisiel Open in France.
- The victory saw the 16-year-old from Erode cross the 2500-point in ELO ratings.
- Iniyan had bagged his third and final GM norm at the 41st International Barbera del Valles chess tournament at Barcelona in July last year.
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