28 March 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

India successfully conducts an anti-satellite missile test

28 March 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

1. India successfully conducts an anti-satellite missile test

  • India conducted its first anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test successfully destroying a low earth orbit satellite in space by using a missile which covered a distance of 300 km to engage the target.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the test, called ‘Mission Shakti’, successful in a specially televised announcement.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Ballistic Missile, Defence Interceptor Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a Hit to Kill mode from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
  • With this, India is only the fourth country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability after the US, Russia and China.
  • The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters.
Source: AIR News

National Affairs

2. UGC prohibits imparting distance degree programmes in agriculture

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited imparting distance degree programmes in agriculture.
  • The decision was taken by the higher education regulator.
  • A degree programme in agriculture is technical in nature as it requires practical or laboratory courses.
  • The Union agriculture ministry had referred the matter to the commission.
  • However, no new enrolments will be permitted from the 2019 academic session.
  • As per UGC Open and Distance Learning Regulations, 2017, professional programmes (like medicine, engineering, architecture, nursing, dental, pharmacy and physiotherapy) are not permitted to be offered in distance mode.
Source: The Indian Express

3. All eight members of Lokpal takes the oath of office

  • The Chairperson of the anti-corruption ombudsman Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose (country's first Lokpal) administered the oath of office to all eight members of the ‘Lokpal’.
  • Former Chief Justices Dilip B. Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, and Abhilasha Kumari and sitting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi are the judicial members who took the oath.
  • Besides Chairperson, the President Ram Nath Kovind had appointed four Judicial members and four Non-Judicial members as Lokpal.
  • The non-judicial members are former first woman Chief of Sashastra Seema Bal Archana Ramasundaram, Dinesh Kumar Jain(ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary), Mahender Singh (former IRS officer) and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam (ex-IAS officer).
Note:
  • A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority who represents the public interest in the Republic of India.
  • The Lokpal has jurisdiction over central government to inquire into allegations of corruption against its public functionaries and for matters connected to corruption.
  • The Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the state level.
Source: The Economic Times

4. India-African Union sign MoU on strengthening cooperation in the healthcare sector

  • An agreement has been signed between India and the African Union to establish an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that the MoU will pave the way for cooperation in research and development, capacity building, health services, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics.
  • The statement said, to carry forward the vision of a structured and concrete partnership in the health sector, the MEA partnered with Indian Council of Medical Research and had jointly organised the first India-Africa Health Sciences Meet in 2016 in New Delhi.
Source: The Economic Times

5. Goa: Dipak Pauskar sworn in as Cabinet Minister

  • In Goa, Dipak Pauskar was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister by Governor Mridula Sinha at the Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula.
  • Pauskar replaces deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party) in the Council of Ministers.
  • As two of the three MGP MLAs, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Pauskar merged their party’s legislative wing with the BJP, thereby isolating Mr Dhavalikar as the lone MGP legislator in the house.
  • The merger had increased BJP’s strength from 12 to 14 in the 40-member Assembly.
  • Mr Ajgaonkar is already a member of the state cabinet.
Source: AIR News

Books & Authors

6. Navin Chawla’s new book titled ‘Every Vote Counts’ launched

  • Former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari has launched Navin Chawla’s (former Chief Election Commissioner of India) new book titled ‘Every Vote Counts’ in New Delhi.
  • This book is about how the electoral machinery works in India.
  • The book explains about India is on the cusp of change, and with its parliamentary elections coming up.
Source: The Hindu

Obituaries 

7. Legendary singer-songwriter ‘Scott Walker’ passes away

  • The legendary singer-songwriter Scott Walker (76-years) passed away.
  • Scott Walker shot to fame in the mid-'60s as the frontman of The Walker Brothers (Scott Walker, John Maus, Gary Leeds).
  • The Ohio-born Walker is known for his baritone voice within the world of experimental music
Source: Economic Times

International Affairs

8. Oman signs agreement allowing the United States military to use its ports

  • Oman has signed an agreement with the United States that allow American ships and warplanes to take advantage of his ports and airports.
  • The framework agreement is aimed at bolstering Omani-American military relations.
  • The agreement will allow the US forces to take advantage from the facilities offered at some of the Sultanate's ports and airports during visits of the US military vessels and aircraft, particularly in the port of Duqm.
  • Duqm port is in southern Oman on the Arabian Sea and around 500 kilometres from the Strait of Hormuz.
  • At the mouth of the Gulf, the strait is crucial to global energy supplies.
Source: Business-standard

9. Comoros President Azali Assoumani re-elected with over 60% of votes

  • According to Electoral Commission of the Indian Ocean archipelago, Comoros President Azali Assoumani was re-elected.
  • Azali (first took office in 2016) was way ahead of his closest rival Mahamoudou Ahamada, who garnered only 14.62% of the ballots cast.
  • Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Source: AIR News

10. European Parliament adopts controversial copyright reforms

  • European Parliament European Parliament adopted controversial copyright reforms championed by news publishers and the media business.
  • Under the reform, European law for the first time would hold platforms legally responsible for enforcing copyright, requiring them to check everything that their users post to prevent infringement.
  • After intense debate by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) meeting in Strasbourg, passed the draft law with 348 votes in favour, 274 against, and 36 abstentions.
  • The reform was loudly backed by media companies and artists, who want to obtain a better return from web platforms that allow users to distribute their content.
  • But it was strongly opposed by Silicon Valley and especially Google that makes huge profits from the advertising generated on content it hosts.
  • It was criticised also by supporters of a free internet who fear it will result in unprecedented restrictions to web freedom.
Source: Economic Times

11. Croatia honours President Kovind with the highest civilian award

  • President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia's highest civilian award the ‘Grand Order of the King of Tomislav’.
  • The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.
  • Kovind is in Croatia as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile.
Note:
  • The Grand Order of King Tomislav with Sash and Great Morning Star is the highest state order of Croatia.
  • It is named after King Tomislav of Croatia.
Source: The Times of India

Sports

12. Manu Bhaker and Saurabh bag Gold medal in 10m Air Pistol Mixed event

  • Manu Bhaker (17-year) and Saurabh Chaudhary (16-year) have bagged a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air Pistol Mixed team event at the 12th Asian Airgun Championship at Taoyuan in Taipei.
  • Manu and Saurabh shot a combined score of 784, breaking the record set by Russians Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov at the European Championships.
  • The pair made it to the Final after smashing the world record in the qualification.
Source: The Indian Express

13. Kohli's coach Rajkumar Sharma in charge of Malta National team

  • Virat Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma has been appointed the head coach of the ‘Malta national cricket team’ for an ICC (International Cricket Council) qualifying tournament.
  • Malta, Estonia and hosts Spain will take part in the divisional tournament of the ICC in Spain (from 29th to 31st March 2019)
  • Dronacharya awardee Rajkumar Sharma (former Ranji Trophy player) is a cricket coach.
Note:
  • The Malta national cricket team is the team that represents the Republic of Malta in international cricket.
  • The team is organised by the Malta Cricket Association, which became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1998.
Source: Business-standard
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