Daily Current Affairs – March 4, 2020

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen
The Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) (SBM(G)) at a National Dissemination and Consultation workshop on 4 March in New Delhi.

Centre nominated 2 sites for the inclusion in World Heritage Sites List
Government of India nominated 2 sites namely Dholavira: A Harappan City and Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate to be included in the World Heritage Sites List for the year 2020. Dholavira is an archaeological site that is located on Tropic of Cancer in Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat. Another nominated site is Forts of Deccan Sultanate. The Deccan Sultanates which had 5 major kingdoms. They ruled between Vindhya Range and Krishna river in the Deccan Plateau.

World Bank announces 12 bn aid package to help countries combat coronavirus outbreak
World Bank has unveiled a 12 billion dollar aid package that will provide fast-track funds to help countries combat the coronavirus outbreak. World Bank President David Malpass told reporters that the goal is to provide fast, effective action that responds to country needs.
The funds, some of which are targeted to the world’s poorest nations, can be used for medical equipment or health services and will include expertise and policy advice.

UN appeals for USD 877 million to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
The United Nations appealed for nearly USD 900 million to help hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees and vulnerable host communities in Bangladesh this year.
The UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration and other partners launched a joint appeal for USD 877 million (789 million euros).

Sudhanshu Pandey takes charge as new CMD of MMTC Ltd
Additional Secretary at the Department of Commerce Sudhanshu Pandey has assumed additional charge as Chairman and Managing Director of MMTC Ltd.
His predecessor Ved Prakash.
Pandey currently discharges functions as the Chief Negotiator of India.

Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as Union Finance Secretary
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey was designated as the Finance Secretary, according to a Personnel Ministry order.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Pandey, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, as Finance Secretary, it stated. The senior-most bureaucrat among all secretaries in the finance ministry is designated as the finance secretary.

NABARD infuses Rs 1.46 lakh cr in rural banking system during current fiscal
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has infused 46 lakh crore rupees in the rural banking system during the current fiscal.
NABARD has stated that 66,397 crore rupees have been given in short-term credit and 6,704 crore rupees in long-term credit to rural cooperative banks.

Govt introduces bill to amend banking laws to strengthen cooperative banks
The Government, introduced a bill in Lok Sabha which seeks to protect the interest of small depositors by bringing cooperative banks under the RBI regulations.
Introducing the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated the bill is the “need of the hour” to avoid a PMC Bank-like crisis in the future. Noting that the happenings at the PMC Bank had “unfortunately” put a lot of small depositors in difficulty, the Finance Minister stated that there were demands that the government should do something about it.

FDI inflow dips 1.4% to $ 10.67 bn in October-December
Foreign direct investment into India dipped marginally by 4 per cent to $ 10.67 billion (about Rs 76,800 crore) during October-December period of 2019-20, according to government data.
Inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) during October-December of 2018-19 stood at $ 10.82 billion. FDI inflows in July-September period of the current financial year stood at $ 9.77 billion.

Pine Labs, ZestMoney to offer instant credit, EMI to customers at PoS
Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has partnered with consumer lending fintech Zest Money to provide in-store, digital equated monthly instalment (EMI) options to customers. This will be available through Pine Labs’ Plutus and Plutus Smart point-of-sale (PoS) devices.
First-time credit seekers who do not have a credit or debit card will be able make purchases at offline stores and avail themselves of EMI.

Scientists from IIT Delhi, DRDO received National Award
Scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and IIT-Delhi received National Award for Young Women Showing Excellence through Application of Technology for Societal Benefits.

India Pharma 2020 and India Medical Device 2020 Conference to be held in Gujarat
India Pharma 2020 & India Medical Device 2020 Conference & Exhibition has been scheduled to be held at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat from 5-7 March 2020. The conference will be inaugurated by the Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister Shri Sadananda Gowda. The fifth edition is organized for the first time in Gujarat.

Scientists found bacteria that can replace fertilizers, fungicides in tea plants
Researchers at the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) Guwahati found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera.

NASA reveals hole on Mars that could hold clue to life on Red Planet
NASA released a photo of the mysterious hole on Mars that could hold a clue to life on Mars. The unusual hole on the planet was discovered in 2011. The image was taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) instrument.

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