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Ajay Bisaria Appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada
Bisaria, a 1987-batch IFS officer was appointed High Commissioner to Canada. He was serving as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan but returned to India in August last year after Pakistan expelled him following India’s decision to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir and withdraw its special status.
Bisaria was private secretary to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1999 to 2004. He has also worked in the World Bank in Washington as an advisor to the executive director for South Asia from 2004-2008.

Arab League rejects US Prez Trump’s Middle East plan
The Arab League has rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, calling it unfair to Palestinians. The Arab League said it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people and violates the reference points of the peace process, the international law and the UN resolutions.
Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo said that any acceptable solution to the Middle East conflict should adhere to the Arab peace initiative and international law.

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic wins his record 8th Men’s singles title
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic won his record 8th Men’s singles title in Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. He beat first-time Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria.
American Sofia Kenin defeated Garbine Muguruza to win her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Brexit: Boris Johnson to seek Australia or Canada-style trade deal with EU
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set out his post-Brexit vision for his country and seek either an Australian or Canadian-style trade deal with the EU after the UK formally left the bloc over the weekend.
Canada negotiated with the EU for seven years before signing a trade deal in October 2016. It took almost another year before it was provisionally applied. The agreement keeps tariffs to a minimum.

Canara Bank MD & CEO R.A. Sankara Narayanan retires
Public sector lender Canara Bank Managing Director and CEO R A Sankara Narayanan has retired from the services of the Bank on his attaining the age of superannuation.

Centre asks CMs of states, UTs to keep close watch on Corona Virus outbreak
Centre has written to all chief Ministers of States and Union territories to keep a close watch on Corona Virus outbreak. It has also assured the Kerala Government of all help in dealing with the situation. Two positive cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in the state.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that government is keeping a close watch on the developments
People who have recently returned from these countries and other infected regions and those in contact with them have been advised to undergo medical check-up by contacting control rooms. They have been asked to be in home quarantine and observation for two weeks to avoid spread of infection.

Centre rejects advice on special grants for States
The Centre has rejected the 15th Finance Commission’s recommendation to give special grants worth Rs. 6,764 crore to States in 2020-21 to ensure that they do not receive less than the previous year’s allocation.
The 15th FC has submitted its interim report for 2020-21 to the president on Dec5, 2019.

Eminent Punjabi novelist Dalip Kaur Tiwana dies
Noted Punjabi novelist Dalip Kaur Tiwana passed away after a brief illness. She was 84. Known for ”Teeli da Nishaan” and ”Sooraj te Samandar”, Tiwana was also a former president of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi.
In 2015, she had returned the Padma Shri bestowed on her to express solidarity with writers protesting “suppression of freedom of expression and growing communalism”.

Govt plans to impose penalty for fake invoices used to claim input tax credit
The Centre plans to levy penalty for fake invoicing – used to claim input tax credit (ITC) illegally – with effect from April 1. Several cases were found by tax authorities, where the assessees had claimed ITC using fake invoices after implementation of GST. It was noticed that these fake invoices were issued by racketeers who do not actually carry on any business or profession.

India beat New Zealand in 5th T-20; Sweep series 5-nil
India beat New Zealand by 7 runs in the fifth and final T-20 International at Mount Maunganui and completed a historic series whitewash. Electing to bat, India posted 163 for three.
India then restricted the hosts to 156 for nine with Jasprit Bumrah claiming three wickets for 12 runs.

India, Maldives sign five MoUs for establishing Addu Tourism zone
India and Maldives signed five MoUs for establishing the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu atoll at a cost of 2.49 million dollars. The MOUs were signed between the High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Addu City Council.
All six projects are grant projects falling under India’s High Impact Community Development Scheme (HICDP). These projects are driven by the needs of communities on the islands.

Indian economy is not in recession asserts IMF MD
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has asserted that Indian economy is not in a recession. She said that the Indian economy indeed experienced an abrupt slowdown last year adding that the IMF had to revise growth projections, downwards.
Georgieva said IMF is expecting 5.8 percent growth rate in 2020 and then an upward trajectory to 6.5 percent in 2021. The IMF MD said that India undertook some important reforms which would be beneficial for the country over the longer term.

Indian women suffer four-wicket loss against Australia in T20 tri-series
Indian women suffered a four-wicket loss against Australia in their second match of the T20 tri-series at Canberra. India scored 103 for nine in 20 overs after being asked to bat. Elysse Perry picked up four wickets before making 49 off 47 balls in Australia’s chase.

M Ajith Kumar IRS appointed as new CBIC Chairman
The Government of India has appointed M Ajit Kumar as chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). The appointment came just two days before the Union Budget 2020 presentation.
The new Chairman’s immediate responsibilities will include accelerating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues and to deal with the changes introduced in customs duties in the Union Budget for 2020 on Saturday

Maldives rejoins Commonwealth after evidence of reforms
Maldives has rejoined the Commonwealth, bringing the total number of nations in the global organisation to 54. Maldives quit the Commonwealth in 2016 after being threatened with suspension over its human rights record and lack of progress on democratic reform.
Maldives has been readmitted after showing evidence of functioning democratic processes and popular support for being part of the family of nations.

Pakistan declares national emergency to battle locusts
Pakistan, which is facing its worst locust attack in decades, has declared national emergency to tackle the insects destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province, country’s main region for agricultural production. The government approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of ?7.3 billion to overcome the crisis.



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