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Weekly Current Affairs: 15th March to 21st March 2019

Published on March 27, 2019

Microsoft’s Project Sangam

  • Microsoft India partnered with The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to deploy Microsoft’s Project Sangam (cloud-hosted, mobile-first community learning platform) to train functionaries and officers across India on Swachh Bharat e-Learning Portal
  • Project Sangam empowered the Municipal functionaries by enabling MoHUA to run custom community training courses and track their process, manage content, users and analytics across the program in one place.
  • It also provided video-based learning for users who have low-bandwidth supporting offline learning for the Swachh Bharat e-Learning Portal users.

Relaxed Norms for Trade Credit Policy

  • In a bid to give a leg-up to oil/ gas refining and marketing, airline and shipping companies, the Reserve Bank of India’s amended Trade Credit Policy has allowed them to raise trade credits of up to $150 million or equivalent per import transaction under the automatic route.
  • For others, trade credits (TCs) can be raised up to $50 million or equivalent per import transaction

SBI and Bank of China

  • State Bank of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bank of China (BoC), third-largest bank in the world by capital size and one of the major players in the Chinese banking sector, to enhance business synergies between both the banks.

Doorstep Banking by SBI

  • 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 per transaction for financial transactions and ₹60 for non-financial transactions
  • This service will not be available for accounts operated jointly, minor accounts, and accounts of non-personal nature.
 Weekly Current Affairs: 15th March to 21st March 2019

ICICI Lombard and MobiKwik Join Hands

  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance, a leading non-life insurance company, has entered into a strategic partnership with MobiKwik, a digital financial services platform, to provide cyber insurance cover for the latter’s mobile wallet users.
  • The relationship aims to provide protection against unauthorised and fraudulent transactions online, across bank accounts, debit/credit cards and mobile wallets. The cyber-insurance can be availed digitally through the app at only Rs. 99 per month and with a sum insured of Rs. 50,000.
  • The policy’s validity is only for one month.

IDBI Recognised as Private Bank

  • The RBI said that IDBI Bank has been categorised as a private sector bank for regulatory purposes with effect from January 21, 2019.
  • This follows Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) acquiring 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital of the bank.

Wings by Aviva Life Insurance

  • Aviva Life Insurance has announced the launch of ‘Wings’, a specially designed mentorship program to empower the female workforce
  • The program is an initiative of the SHE division of the company, for mentoring all the women employees.

Bandhan Bank to Acquire Gruh Finance

  • Bandhan Bank has got the approval from RBI for the proposed acquisition of Gruh Finance.
  • Gruh Finance Limited is a Housing Finance Company (HFC) recognized by the National Housing Bank (NHB).

WhatsApp to Tackle False Information

  • WhatsApp has joined hands with NASSCOM Foundation, to tackle the challenge of misinformation. The aim of the partnership is to train 100,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

MCCIL Becomes a Third-Country Central Counterparty

  • Bank of England recognized Metropolitan Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (MCCIL) as a Third-Country Central Counterparty (TC-CCP)
  • Metropolitan Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (MCCIL) has become the first clearing corporation in India to receive recognition as a Third-Country Central Counterparty (TC-CCP) by Bank of England for offering various clearing services to UK-based entities.The recognition has been granted under United Kingdom’s Temporary Recognition Regime (TRR).

Annual List of the Most Famous Athlete

  • An annual list of the most famous athletes on the planet 2019 ESPN World Fame 100 list has placed Cristiano Ronaldo at the top spot.
  • Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are on the 10th and 13th spot respectively.

Domestic Systemically Important Banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that SBI, ICICI and HDFC Banks would continue as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) for 2018.
  • SBI in the third bucket was setting aside 0.45 per cent of its assets as an additional capital requirement and have to set aside 0.60 per cent of its risk-weighted assets.
  • ICICI Bank and HDFC which are in the fifth bucket are required to set aside 0.20 per cent Bank’s capital requirement from 0.15 per cent now.
  • RBI had initiated the recognition as D-SIBs from 2015 and places these banks in appropriate buckets depending upon their Systemic Importance Scores (SISs).

World Happiness Report 2019

  • World Happiness Report is released by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • The report ranked 156 countries on “How happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”
  • India ranked at 140th position.
  • Finland topped the index followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.
  • South Sudan was the last country at 156th position.
  • Six Parameters – Income, Freedom, Trust, Healthy Life Expectancy, Social Support and Generosity

Important Days

15 March 2019 World Sleep Day Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging
15 March 2019 World Consumer Rights Day "Trusted Smart Products"
20 March 2019 World Sparrow Day I Love Sparrows
20 March 2019 International Day of Happiness Happier Together
21 March 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies”.
21 March 2019 World Down Syndrome Day
21 March 2019 World Poetry Day
21 March, 2019 International Day of Forests 2019 Forests and Education – Learn to Love Forests
22 March 2019 World Water Day Leave No One Behind.


M. R. Kumar LIC Chairman
Pramod Sawant Chief Minister of Goa
Gauri Sawant First Transgender Election Ambassador

Awards and Honours

Padmanaban Gopalan Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region
Lydian Nadhaswaram The World’s Best’ global talent contest for playing piano
Journalist and author Raghu Karnad One of eight recipients of Yale University’s 2019 Windham-Campbell Prize for his book “Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War
BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Swati Shingade First prize of DD Mahila Kisan Award for 2018- 19
Kathak dancer Seema Mehta Nari Shakti Puraskar‘
American Karen Uhlenbeck Abel Prize 2019 in mathematics
Marcelo Gleiser 2019 Templeton Prize
Leeladhar Jagudi Vyas Samman 2018


  • Indian woman golfer Diksha Dagar became the 2nd Indian winner on Ladies European Tour after clinching South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.


  • Africa-India Joint Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX-19) between the Indian Army and 16 African nations will be conducted in Pune.
  • India and Sri Lanka will conduct joint military exercise Mitra Shakti VI.


  • The first BRICS Sherpa meeting under the Presidency of Brazil was held in Curitiba, Brazil between 14-15 March 2019.
  • Argentina and Colombia are poised to co-host the 2020 Copa America.
  • The Special Olympics World Games 2019 began at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Indian Railways Integral Coach Factory (ICF) becomes the single largest rail coach manufacturer in the world.
  • Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong have jointly been named as the World’s Most Expensive cities in 2019, according to Worldwide Cost of Living Survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • The Government of Indonesia has hosted the first ever High-Level Dialogue on IndoPacific Cooperation (HLD-IPC) in Jakarta. The theme of the HLD was “Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Inclusive Region”.
  • Google has announced its fully-functional cloud gaming platform titled Stadia.

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