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March 20, 2018

20th March 2018 Events - Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (20th March 2018) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 20th March 2018

International Current Affairs
  • Today (20th March) is 'International Day of Happiness'.
    • This day is observed by the United Nations to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. 
    • Theme of International Day of Happiness 2018 : "Share Happiness - focusing on the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other".
  • Today (20th March) is World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People.
  • Today is World Sparrow Day. 
    • It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world.
    • This day is designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations.
    • Theme of World Sparrow Day 2018 "I LOVE Sparrows"
  • The Indo-French joint naval exercise Varuna-18 was recently held in Arabian Sea off Goa coast. 
    • This exercise was conducted in 3 sea areas. They are , 
      • Arabian Sea
      • Bay of Bengal 
      • South Western Indian Ocean 
    • This exericse was conducted in 3 phases. They are, 
      • Anti-submarine Phase
      • Air defence Phase
      • Asymmetric Engagement Phase
    • Aim of Varuna 18 : To explore measures to facilitate operational-level interactions between Indo-French armed forces and increase mutual cooperation, considering the common global threats.
  • Indian Railways has formally handed over a total of 18 1350 HP AC/DC diesel electric locomotives to Myanma Railways. 
    • Note : It was the first project completed in current Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
  • The Gulf Shield – 1 military exercise of 23 countries including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states was recently held in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. 
    • This exercise was organised by the Defence Ministry of Saudi Arabia.
National Current Affairs
  • The Punjab government today cleared a proposal mandating Chief Minister and other state ministers to pay the income tax on their salaries themselves. 
    • Note : This new proposal will reduce the burden on state exchequer by around ₹10.72 crore.
  • The Karnataka government has accepted the suggestion of an expert panel and sought separate religion status for the Lingayat community
    • The recommendation will now be forwarded to the Centre, which will take the final call on the matter. 
    • The casteless sect was founded by 12th-century social reformer Basavanna, who was opposed to Brahminical practices.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) in New Delhi.  
    • The 5-day festival is an initiative of Rashtrapati Bhavan to recognise, respect, showcase, reward innovations and foster supportive ecosystem for innovators. 
Science & Technology
  • In an effort aimed at rebuilding the economy, Greece today established the country's first space agency titled the Hellenic Space Organisation
    • With the establishment of the agency, Greece aims to make gains in various sectors, including telecommunications, defence, medical applications, agriculture, among others.
  • GE Aviation's GE9X, world's largest jet engine, has completed its first test flight in the US. 
    • The GE9X features a front fan with 11.2 feet diameter and 16 fourth-generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. 
  • 56-year-old Mangala Mani has become ISRO's first woman scientist to spend 403 days in Antarctica
MOUs & Agreements
  • India’s Department of Space (DoS) and European Union (EU) have signed cooperation agreement related to sharing of earth observation satellite data
    • The agreement aims to strengthen and stimulate cooperation on earth observation and mutual access to data from EU’s Sentinel series of satellites and from Indian earth observation satellites. 
    • The data sharing will provide mutual benefits, in particular in pursuit of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Sahitya Akademi Award winning Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh (83) passed away.
    • He was best known for his poetry collection titled "Akaal Mein Saaras", for which he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989 and the Jnanpith Award in 2013. 
New Appointments
  • Sony India has appointed Sunil Nayyar as its 1st Indian Managing Director
    • He will replace Kenichiro Hibi, who is going to retire in April 2018. 
Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
  • To help boost overseas sales in a year of surplus production, the Indian government has scrapped the 20% sugar export tax
    • Important Note : India is world's second-largest producer of sugar after Brazil.
  • The UK has reached a legal agreement with the European Union (EU) to end the Brexit transition by December 31, 2020. 
    • The transitional period will begin from March 29, 2019. The agreement also gives EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition the same rights and guarantees as those who arrive before Brexit.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today filed a chargesheet against former Canara Bank CMD RK Dubey and two former executive directors of cheating and forgery in the alleged loan default of over Rs 68 crore sanctioned in 2013.
Awards & Honors
  • London based Andria Zafirakou honored with the World's Best Teacher Award.
    • Zafirakou has been credited with visiting pupils' homes, holding extra lessons and organising sports clubs for girls from conservative communities. 
    • She received $1 million (₹6.5 crore) in prize money.

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