Daily Current Affairs and GK | 08, 09 and 10 March 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 30 Mar 2020 10:37 AM IST

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1. 75 lakh SHGs to be created by 2022

  • The government has set a target to create 75 lakh Self Help Groups by 2022 to enable more women to get a livelihood.
  • Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Rural Development, has said that more than 60 lakh SHGs are mobilizing more than 6 crore women.
  • Self Help Groups are the informal associations of the people that face similar problems and help each other to improve their living conditions.
  • These are self-governed and usually share the same socio-economic background. SHGs encourage small savings among their members.

2. Crude oil prices decreased by more than 20% after Saudi Arabia postponed the increase in production by a month

  • In response to Russia’s denial to be part of the plan of OPEC countries to cut supplies, Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco decided to step up production from next month.
  • Due to this decision, Brent crude futures declined 30% to 31.02 US dollars/barrel. It was the worst one-day fall since the start of the Gulf War in 1991.
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC):
    • It is an intergovernmental organization that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its members.
    • It was found in 1960 by five countries viz. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
    • Currently, there are 13 oil-exporting developing nations as member countries.
    • Qatar terminated its membership on 1 January 2019.
    • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

3. Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme launched in Bengaluru

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship programme was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey at IIM Bengaluru.
  • The fellowship programme is a part of the SANKALP programme.
  • In this fellowship programme, 75 graduates from 75 districts in UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Meghalaya, will be trained for 2 years in preparing the District skill plan.
  • SANKALP Programme- Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood- is a programme of MSDE that aims to implement the mandate of NSDM. The scheme is centrally sponsored and is assisted by the World Bank.

4. Nari Shakti Puraskar awarded to 15 women

  • Nari Shakti Puraskar was awarded to 15 outstanding women by President on International Women’s Day.
  • The awardees are as follows:
    • 103 yr old athlete- Mann Kaur
    • IAF’s first women fighter pilots- Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi
    • Farmers- Padala Bhudevi and Bina Devi
    • Artisan- Arifa Jaan
    • Environmentalist- Chami Murmu
    • Entrepreneur- Nilza Wangmo
    • Automotive research professional- Rashmi Urdhwardeshe
    • Lady Mason- Kalavati Devi
    • Twin Mountaineers- Tashi and Nungshi Malik
    • Classical vocalist- Kaushiki Chakroborty
    • 98-year-old Karthyayini Amma who topped the literacy exam in 2018
    • 105-year-old Bhageerathi Amma
  • Nari Shakti Puraskar:
    • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
    • The award is given to recognize the exceptional contribution made by individuals or institutions in the emancipation of women.
  • International Women’s Day:
    • It is celebrated every year on 8th March since 1975.
    • 2020 Theme: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”

5. 2nd anniversary of Poshan Abhiyaan- ‘Poshan Pakhwada’

  • The two-week-long Poshan Pakhwada celebrating the second anniversary of Poshan Abhiyaan has begun.
  • The focus area is – Men for Nutrition- to increase male engagement in Poshan Abhiyaan so as to improve Nutritional indicators. 
  • POSHAN Abhiyan:
    • PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) Abhiyaan, earlier known as National Nutrition Mission, was launched on 8 March 2018 in Jhunjunu, Rajasthan.
    • The mission aims at making India malnutrition free by 2022. 

6. Andhra Pradesh topped for the overall implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan

  • As per the report of NITI Aayog, Andhra Pradesh has ranked first in the country in the overall implementation of Poshan Abhiyaan.
  • Under the programme, the State has trained Aanganwadi workers on modules created based on the life cycle approach.
  • Tamil Nadu has topped the list in terms of the number of participants in the programme.
  • NITI Aayog is required to submit implementation status reports of POSHAN Abhiyaan every six months to the PMO.
  • Poshan Abhiyaan aims at improving the Nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

7. 3rd All-women Post Office opens in New Delhi

  • The third all-women Post office has been inaugurated by the Department of Posts, Delhi circle under the New Delhi South West Division.

8. India as an observer of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)

  • India has been approved as an observer state by the Indian Ocean Commission.
  • With this approval, India will join China (made observer in 2016) as well as the “International Organisation of the Francophonie” or the 54-nation French-speaking collective, the European Union (EU), and Malta, which were made observer in 2017.
  • Indian Ocean Commission (IOC):
    • It is a five-nation grouping in the Western Indian Ocean, including Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and French Reunion.
    • It was formed in 1984 to safeguard the interests of these Western Indian Ocean islands.
    • Headquarters: Mauritius

9. National Conference on Women in Police and CAPFs held in New Delhi

  • The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) organized a National Conference on Women in Police and CAPFs in New Delhi.
  • Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani proposed training of members of Child Welfare Committees and emphasized the need for coordination among the various departments, ministries, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
  • The two themes that were discussed – Cyber Stalking and Bullying of Women: Steps for Protection and Challenges faced by CAPF women in operational areas.
  • BPR&D was established in 1970 under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

10. Ashraf Ghani: Afghanistan President for the second term

  • Ashraf Ghani has sworn in as President of Afghanistan for a second term.
  • He was declared the winner of the election held in September 2019, but his rival Abdullah Abdullah also conducted a parallel ceremony.
  • US troops have started to leave Afghanistan as per the US-Taliban agreement.
  • Afghanistan:
    • It is a landlocked country that is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China.
    • Capital: Kabul
    • Currency: Afghan Afghani



11. Fuel Cell Technology developed for Disaster Management

  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) with operational capability at low-temperatures has been developed by scientists at ARCI, Hyderabad.
  • These PEMFC systems have been developed in the range of 1 to 20 kW.
  • Emergency Operation Centres backed with a 10kW system with fuel stack, air moving subsystems, power control devices, etc. will be used as a measure for disaster management.
  • ARCI is planning to install a PEMFC system up to 10kW capacity at Tamil Nadu State Emergency Operation Centre to operate systems like early warning systems, office equipment, etc.
  • International Advanced Research for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) is an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • A fuel cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Hydrogen and Oxygen are used as fuel in this device.


Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Q1. Which of the following is not true about the Self Help Groups?

A. It is an informal association of women only

B. People in these groups usually belong to the same socio-economic background.

C. These groups promote small savings among their members.

D. None

Q2. How many oil-exporting nations are member countries of OPEC?

A. 17

B. 15

C. 13

D. 18

Q3. Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship programme was launched recently as part of __________ programme.





Q4. Nari Shakti Puraskar was awarded to Indian Air Force’s first women fighter pilots. Who among the following is not one of them?

A. Mohana Singh

B. Bhawana Kanth

C. Avani Chaturvedi

D. Manjeet Kaur

Q5. In which year was POSHAN Abhiyaan launched?

A. 2016

B. 2017

C. 2018

D. 2019

Q6. Which state has ranked first in the overall implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan?

A. Kerala

B. Karnataka

C. Orissa

D. Andhra Pradesh

Q7. Which one of the following nations is not a member of the Indian Ocean Commission?

A. Maldives

B. Seychelles

C. Madagascar

D. Comoros

Q8. Where is the headquarters of the Indian Ocean Commission located?

A. Sri Lanka

B. Mauritius

C. India

D. Malta

Q9. Where was the National Conference on Women in Police and CAPFs held?

A. Bengaluru

B. New Delhi

C. Chennai

D. Chandigarh

Q10. A fuel cell converts-

A. Heat energy to Chemical energy

B. Heat energy to Electrical energy

C. Chemical energy to Electrical energy

D. Electrical energy to Mechanical energy



1. A

2. C

3. B

4. D

5. C

6. D

7. A

8. B

9. B

10. C





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